Documenting Death-Part 1

Recently we have been once more testimonies of the importance of the evidential power that photographs still retain in the minds of the spectators. The execution of Osama Bin Laden gave rise to a huge debate over the truthfulness of the fact and one of the main claims on behalf of the audience was the presentation of a photographic documentation of the fact. This argument proves that people still believe in the veracity of the photographic image and they consider it a medium that offers real and more objective information, especially when a fact as death is examined. The digital technology and the potentials of the image elaboration seem to be not taken into consideration as additional reasons for the trustworthiness of the photographic medium nowadays.

Probably, the release of another photograph which presents the panel of illustrious administrators of the execution as the privileged voyeurs of the fact gave a further push to the equation of image with truth:

Pete Souza, White House Photographer

A very interesting analysis of the rich visual rhetoric elements of this photo could be found in Marco Bohr’s Visual Culture Blog.

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