Susan Meiselas’s Nicaragua: The Photo-book

meiselas_susan_189_2003_5

Susan Meiselas, Awaiting counter attack by the National Guard, Matagalpa, Nicaragua, 1978 (189.2003.5)

Documentary photographers are constantly faced with the ethical issues, political implications, and opportunism associated with the exploitative nature of photography. This image by Susan Meiselas was the cover photo for her book Nicaragua, a documentation of civil war–photographs of a nation in turmoil during the decline of the Somoza regime and the Sandinista revolution.

Methods of presentation play an important role in how a delicate subject matter, such as war imagery, is received. In Decoys and Disruptions: Selected Writings, 1975-2001, Martha Rosler revisits her criticism of Meiselas and the mass production of war imagery in the media, and, instead, touches on the importance of Meiselas’s images of Nicaragua viewed as a photo-book in such a pivotal moment in American history:

The publication of Meiselas’s book was significant: a high-budget, high-profile photo book, put out by the important publisher Pantheon Books, about a leftist revolution in the Third World–just the area of the world that we in the United States considered our fiefdom–at the start of the “Reagan revolution” and the historic swing to the right in the United States.

Martha Rosler. Decoys and Disruptions: Selected Writings, 1975-2001. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2004. p. 245

About these ads
This entry was posted in Fans in a Flashbulb and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s