Spectacle artefact – Research
The following research is what i have undertook in relation to my Spectacle artefact. I have looked at the following research:
(Picture courtesy of http://www.thecaselawfirm.com/)
I have researched into the laws and regulations for photographers taking pictures within a public space. The link below gives a good overview over the rights for photographers and various links that allows you to view articles and actual laws that relates to photographers taking pictures within public spaces.
The Metropolitan Police have a useful webpage about the laws surrounding photographing and filming within public spaces.
The main law that is focal is the ‘Terrorism Act 2000’, which basically says that the Police must be vigilant against suspicious behaviour (such as photographing a bank for example) and do have the power to stop and search an individual if they are suspected of being suspicious.
One of the excerpts from the rules and regulations courtesy of the Metropolitan Police that is relevant to my work and how this could be affected.
“Officers have the power to stop and search a person who they reasonably suspect to be a terrorist. The purpose of the stop and search is to discover whether that person has in their possession anything which may constitute evidence that they are a terrorist.
Officers have the power to view digital images contained in mobile telephones or cameras carried by a person searched under S43 of the Terrorism Act 2000 to discover whether the images constitute evidence that the person is involved in terrorism. Officers also have the power to seize and retain any article found during the search which the officer reasonably suspects may constitute evidence that the person is a terrorist. This includes any mobile telephone or camera containing such evidence.
Officers do not have the power to delete digital images or destroy film at any point during a search. Deletion or destruction may only take place following seizure if there is a lawful power (such as a court order) that permits such deletion or destruction.”
(Photography and section 43 of the Terrorism Act 2000)
- ‘Innocent Photographer or Terrorist?’
(BBC News Magazine – By Tom Geoghegan. 17th April 2008)
Amidst my fears of taking pictures in Birmingham City centre i have been doing some research into ‘photographing in the city’ (my exact Google search) and found this article entitled ‘Innocent Photographer or terrorist?’ by Tom Geoghegan, which is about a photographer called Phil Smith, who was taking pictures in Ipswich of the christmas lights being switched on, when he was approached by a police officer who then stop and searched Mr Smith and asked him to delete the pictures.
(Photo courtesy of link below)
The article then goes into detail about the struggles that photographers face with regards to being approached by police officers within public spaces for taking photographs, and being on high alert in regards to terrorism and any action or movement that a person takes that then gets mistaken for a terrorist act.
This relates really well to the photographs that i want to take for my spectacle artefact, which would be within a public space and this would potentially be a risk.
- ‘Officers claim they don’t need law to stop photographer taking photos’
(The Independent Online – By Jerome Taylor. 28th June 2010)
An interesting article about how a 16 year old boy was stopped by police after taking pictures of an Armed Forces Parade in London.
Jules Mattsson fought his corner telling police officers that: ““I responded that I was a freelance and upon being told I needed parental permission to photograph them, I explained this was a public event in a public place and that I didn’t for editorial use.”
- “Photographer films his own ‘anti-terror’ arrest”
(The Guardian Online – By Paul Lewis. 21st February 2010)
A photographer who was questioned under ‘anti-terrorist’ legislation and was arrested after police claimed the pictures he was taking in the Lancashire town (of a christmas parade) were ‘suspicous’ and constituted ‘anti-social behaviour’.
- “I’m a photographer, Not a Terrorist! protest”
(Photo courtesy of urban75 and the link above)
A protest that took place in February 2009 staged outside the Police Headquarters of Scotland Yard, to protest against the ‘harassment’ that photographers face against the Police and the law of Section 44 of the Terrorism Act of 2000.
Images of Spectacle
I have looked into the imagery and moments captured from spectacular events such as 9/11 and came across this picture which really signifies the extent to which people were trying to get out of the twin towers when the planes hit.
(Picture courtesy of http://www.esquire.com/fiction/book-review/delillo)
Entitled ‘The Falling Man’ (later titled by Tom Junod’s Esquire magazine article in 2003), this photograph was taken by photographer Richard Drew and became one of the most startling and shocking pictures from the 9/11 attacks. Theologian Mark D. Thompson described the picture as: “perhaps the most powerful image of despair at the beginning of the twenty-first century is not found in art, or literature, or even popular music. It is found in a single photograph.”
The photograph has been analysed and disected and this single photograph is one of a series that were taken that show the man gradually falling to his eventual death. The controversy surrounding this photograph from newspaper readers found the picture to be in bad taste and ‘disturbing’. In the documentary (embedded below) it was branded as: “Distasteful, exploitative, voyeuristic.”
The power of a single image can have a vast effect on emotions and how you view things from a certain perspective. You never know the full backstory or conclusion for a photograph and that is what i find most intriguing.
The Esquire magazine article where the title for ‘The Falling Man’ originated.
‘The Falling Man’ even had its own documentary made in 2006 by American filmaker Henry Singer and DOP Richard Numeroff, which trys to unravel and identify the falling man himself. It goes in-depth to how they eventually identifed the man as well as interviews with the friends and family of the man and also other people who were killed in the 9/11 attacks.
This has been an inspiration to how i could approach my photographs with regards to style and effectiveness.
Another photograph that never fails to shock me is of Rachel Whitear who overdosed in her home in 2007. This photograph has been widely used to support anti-drug campaigns, especially with regard to young people and the high risk of death.
This photograph really brings across the idea of how dangerous self infliction of chemicals and substances can be, and to me; this photograph can say so much without any words used to describe it. To me, this is another form of spectacle. From her own private isolation to the eventual police and ambulance crews that caused a wave of media attention.
The other aspect of controversial photography i looked into was from a very blunt Google search (‘suicide photography’) and it came up with a couple of photographs that relate to how i want to capture my spectacle moments.
This first one is from a a guy called hiJoju and from his blog:
Most of the other ‘suicide’ posed photographs were pretty emo-esque with razor blades and smudged eyeliner. The only photos that were actually very realistic include the photograph above and also this one which was posted on a very sexist forum entitled: ‘How do you fix a woman’s watch?’ and several ‘blokes’ being very sexist and not very original with women belonging in the kitchen jokes (bastards!):
(Picture courtesy of http://forum.ebaumsworld.com/showthread.php?t=303793)
I want to go along the same style of a suicide spectacle that the above images show. This would be a much more achievable and less risky way of getting the photographs for my spectacle artefact.
Suicide Rates in the UK
(Photo courtesy of http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2010/jan/28/suicide-rates-data-ons)
I researched into suicide rates and found some interesting articles in the Guardian online about how suicide rates are on the rise.
This article gives data into the suicide rates across age, gender and country. This shows that Men have a higher percentage of suicide compared to Women and with the economic downturns, this has had a huge impact on these figures.
I found the website below which has a very wide range of information on suicide such as prevention and in relation to gender, age, sexuality and the effect it has on family and close ones.
I think i may be going too deep into researching suicide and laws but it has given me a clear indication of how i can approach it, with regards to law within public space and also the sensitive subject of suicide.