My Photograph in “Shape @ Rome”

Laurie says:

..

This photograph from my Pandemic Shadows project will be on exhibit in Rome in Shape @ Rome at the KromArt Gallery in Rome, in collaboration with Centro Sperimentale di Fotografia Adams and PH21 Gallery. The exhibition runs from October 15-24.

Shapes are one of the most important aspects of creative photographic compositions. Living beings and inanimate objects, including the built environment come in many forms, and photographers often rely on the creative possibilities offered by their shape. While in some cases the images of things only have a depictive function, at the other end of the spectrum abstract photography concentrates on shapes and forms for their own sake up to a point when we can no longer recognise the depicted objects themselves. Between being either insignificant or the only significant element, the shape of recognisable forms may also be the driving compositional component of an image. That is, the shape of living beings and objects may be of central importance to the composition of photographs not only in abstract photography but also in virtually all other photographic genres. These images capture our attention and stand out for their creative compositional form.

The opening on Facebook (https://fb.me/e/1QNSJNNSs) will be at 10 AM Pacific time. I’ve been at one opening as an exhibiting photographer, and one Bodyscapes as the opening speaker. The exhibition speakers for  Shape @ Rome are Luisa Briganti, photographer – Zsolt Bátori, photographer & philosopher of art – Borbála Jász, art historian & philosopher of art. I plan to be there. I’ve enjoyed the openings I’ve attended, listening to the speakers and hearing the photographers talk about their work.

======================

Follow Debbie on Twitter.

Follow Laurie’s new Pandemic Shadows photos on Instagram.

======================

If Real Teens Weren’t Being Harmed, Watching Facebook Squirm Would Be Fun

Four teenagers of different races and genders, walking together, arms around each other.

Debbie says:

The evidence is damning. Whistleblower Frances Haugen, who initially spoke anonymously with the Wall Street Journal and then did a public interview on 60 Minutes, has raised questions about several key Facebook behaviors. Haugen, a former Facebook product manager who was tasked with “civic integrity issues,” has revealed Facebook’s own studies which document that 32% of teen girls have experienced negative effects on their body image when they spend time on Instagram (which is owned by Facebook). In the wake of the current scandals, Facebook has at least temporarily withdrawn its plans for an “Instagram for Kids” site.

Social media is not just a site of body image harm. The platforms can provide routes for teens (and everyone else) with body image issues to find support and community. High-profile entertainers like Lizzo offer remarkably strong body-positive images and statements. Well-designed studies and good medical advice are available to anyone with a good search string.

Nonetheless, the majority of people just scratch the surface of their social media sites, and so the tyranny of the majority has a lot of power. However much fat-positive work is out there to be proud of, there’s no denying that it’s overwhelmed by mainstream definitions of beauty … and mainstream peer pressure tactics. If a social media user doesn’t go looking for positive body image support, they’re unlikely to trip over it–while they will trip over “the norm” just by logging on.

Facebook — and TikTok, and SnapChat, and all the others — have ways to combat this. They have the tools to know who the central disseminators of negative information are. They could shut off the loudest dangerous voices and the most pervasive destructive images with a week’s effort. And they probably wouldn’t lose any significant amount of money. Instead, they double down:

They deny the value of their own data because of its small sample size. Small sample size is a problem, but who designed the study?

They say that Instagram didn’t do harm to teenagers in “other areas,” such as loneliness. Okay, great. But that doesn’t make this problem better.

They say a majority of respondents didn’t have exacerbated body image issues. Sure, fine, but 32% is a lot of people to hurt just because they aren’t the majority. And since some of those 32% reported increased or new suicidal thoughts, maybe we should take them seriously.

In case you weren’t thinking about it, boys have body image issues too. People of color are certainly affected, often very negatively, by the linkage between whiteness and “beauty.” Teens facing gender issues suffer from narrow expectations. And body image issues are not confined to teens–they affect everyone from pre-teens to octogenarians. Teen girls are the canaries in the mine, the group that is (often) most dramatically affected and most seriously at risk. The policies that fail to protect teen girls are dangers to a vast range of people.

It’s well known that people are ruder and more threatening on social media because they don’t really believe they are interacting with real people. Watching Facebook treat their own data as if it didn’t matter makes me wonder if social media users are just learning from social media moguls; if Mark Zuckerberg and Nick Clegg and other Facebook higher-echelon folks don’t believe their customers are real, how will we learn to believe in each other?

NOTE:  This post is drawn from several sources, rather than just one or two. References available on request; just ask in the comments.

======================

Follow Debbie on Twitter.

Follow Laurie’s new Pandemic Shadows photos on Instagram.

======================