Post Tsunami Period
It is not easy to forget the earthquake in Indonesia and the tsunami followed in South Asia on 26Dec2004, and the cost we paid. The response of media, local people and other counties are direct, intuitive and spontaneous around the world.
Tourists going for holidays, became victims, but saved, and joined volunteers in emergency rescue team. Photographers putting down cameras, not shooting but to comfort victims. Image as part of the media, will it play multi-roles, rather than 'a pure documentary of the truth' ?
Before going ahead, we sidetrack into other image journey.
A Lovely Monster
'H-Bomb tests unleash a giant radioactive Jurassic-era monster whose Tokyo temper tantrum canŐt be stopped by conventional weapons. But what about the mysterious Dr. Serizawa and his "Oxygen Destroyer?".' (more details from FilmForum / watch the trailer) Godzilla, one of the best selling Sci-Fi movies in Japan also become more and more popular in Western. There are tremendous product lines of toys and movie memorials evolved.
A Deadly Fight
LIFE magazine published on 16Apr1965, cover story featured a story of how a mission of the U.S. Marines' Helicopter Squadron 163 in Vietnam turned out to be a deadly fight.
Going back to the topic. Explicitly, there are struggles between human and environment in natural disaster. However, it is quite unbelievable that media can be purely neutral, except that it claimed itself to be so in a political world. It is always like another kind of battlefield. To justify the position of a country in a battle, to spread the words of people's suffer, to re-address the horror of war, protest against nuclear-weapon, and another long list of examples. There are endless dialogue between images and reality. The images and media sometimes have interactive reaction with history, and the process can be complex, and sometimes unpredictable. Once images are created, they can stand on its own, and becomes a being of itself. In history, an unconditional faith about media and images sometimes turned out to be a disaster.
Probably it is because Godzilla and Vietnam War are products from 50-60's, when people approached technology, photography and media in a way so mythic, pure, like ritual and religion.
In what way we treat the images today, it will affect how people 'create' images tomorrow, and the perception of our next generation.