After BCM310 this week I began to think about all the shows I have encountered over the years that hit the topic of suffering and poverty porn completely. If we could relate the topic of suffering within the world in photos I believe we can also have a similar line towards seeing the suffering of others through videos. This is not just including reality shows such as Jackass and MXC (which bring humour and disgust to the screen) but videos that you would come across from historical events such as 9/11 (Falling People) and even natural events such as Tsunamis. (Boxing Day)
Please be careful this is graphic.
With more people being intrigued by all the events around the world at the moment their first thing they want to do is either record or take a photo of the event. We as the pawns seem to find this information so easily with social media that we all seem to chuck it around without really thinking about the consequences of this piece. Whether it be heart breaking or painful to watch people seem to want to keep sharing it, trolling and commenting with sometimes pushing it further.
E.g. The reality show ‘Struggle Street’ began making the view that MT Druitt seemed to all look the same as the show itself built on drugs and poverty. It created an uprise of voices to question the view of how the media had shown the show to begin with but they did it within the way they wanted to get more views. Making people judge and question the people and stability of that community. A video I had found within the many showed that Ashley’s family was given food from the team during the show. Video Below.
Yet we forget to think about the old times of how amusement was made. In the roman times people were thrown into the arena to sort out their problems with the one still standing being the winner. Even though in this circumstance most were murders and thieves yet a lot were slaves. These murderous games caught the crowd’s attention even though they weren’t chucked in themselves.
‘You may object that the victims committed robbery or were murderers. So what? Even if they deserved to suffer, what’s your compulsion to watch their sufferings? ‘Kill him’, they shout, ‘Beat him, burn him’. Why is he too timid to fight? Why is he so frightened to kill? Why so reluctant to die? They have to whip him to make him accept his wounds.’ Source
We need to question ourselves when watching or viewing something or even sharing it for that matter. Such questions should be raised as, should I be watching this? Should I be sharing this? What is behind the image or video? Should I be judging this? People need to take a step away from a video or image because it can depict the time, event or place however not all is seen to believe. Look deeper first.
2016, ‘The boxing day tsunami facts and figures’, BCOM (Bolton Council of Mosques), viewed 12 March 2016
Keith Hopkins, ‘Murderous Games: Gladiatorial Contests in Ancient Rome,’ Volume 33 issue 6, History Today, Viewed 13 March 2016
Matt Young,12 September 2013, ‘The story behind the most powerful image of 9/11: the Falling Man,’ News, Viewed 13 March 2016