Friday, 15 January 2010

Photography and Children

I read this article 'Is Elinor Carucci right to turn the camera on her children?' mainly because I remember being interested in her photographs in 2006 when I first got into Art etc.
Her photos are generally of her family and herself in various emotional states, often naked. A very close intimate family is not something you see everyday, but these photos suggest there is nothing wrong with it.

"Carucci's photographs ask many questions about the nature of family life and its often-overlooked intimacies, but they ask far more about photography. Carucci's parents have the power of veto over the photographs she takes of them. Her children, however, do not. In an interview on Radio 4's Woman's Hour last week, Carucci acknowledged that her children may grow up to resent her portrayals of them. "They might be angry with me and I'm ready for that," she said. Does that make it all right?"

To me the article seems to be hinting around the danger of misuse of these photos (and similar photographers of children, Sally Mann) for 'pedophilia'. It's trying to suggest that people may find these photos - what I see as honest portrayals of childhood and family interaction - as uncomfortable or unsuitable to share with the public.

But then what about Facebook? I thoughtlessly upload my personal photos, and I don't really know who I'm trying to please with them other than those in the images. I forget though, how many people have access to my photos. But does that make any difference? It worries me how much we all share with one another, and who is seeing my updates, mood swings etc.

Photos such as these should be equally respected and congratulated as any other genre in photography. Excuse my bad articulation, but what I mean is I don't want my generation or the next to associate photos like these with pedophilia and banish them. They are beautiful honest portrayals of childhood.

Sally Man's photos, most from 'At Twelve : Portraits of Young Women'.

This is Jessie Mann now (the little girl on the right).

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