“Tourist, shame on you”: Disaster tourism in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
By Lisa Wade PhD
When tourists returned to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, there was a new site to see: disaster. Suddenly — in addition to going on a Ghost Tour, visiting the Backstreet Cultural Museum, and lunching at Dooky Chase’s — one could see the devastation heaped upon the Lower Ninth Ward. Buses full of strangers with cameras were rumbling through the neighborhood as it tried to get back on its feet.
Reader Kiara C. sent along a photograph of a homemade sign propped up in the Lower Ninth, shaming visitors for what sociologists call “disaster tourism,” a practice that is criticized for objectifying the suffering of others. It read:
TOURIST Shame On You Driving BY without stopping Paying to see my pain 1,600+ DIED HERE
Disaster tourism is criticized for objectifying the suffering of others. Imagine having lost loved ones and seen your house nearly destroyed. After a year out of town, you’re in your nastiest clothes, mucking sludge out of your house, fearful that the money will run out before you can get the house — the house your grandmother bought and passed down to you through your mother — put back together.
Imagine that — as you push a wheelbarrow out into the sunlight, blink as you adjust to the brightness, and push your hair off your forehead, leaving a smudge of toxic mud — a bus full of cameras flash at you, taking photographs of your trauma, effort, and fear. And then they take that photo back to their cozy, dry home and show it to their friends, who ooh and aah about how cool it was that they got to see the aftermath of the flood.
The person who made this sign… this is what they may have been feeling.
Lisa Wade is a professor of sociology at Occidental College and the co-author of Gender: Ideas, Interactions, Institutions. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.
Adorable and Magical Photos Of Mieps The Guinea Pig
Adorable and photogenic guinea pig Mieps has an affinity for the camera. If you don’t believe us then look at these delightful photographs where the domestic and chubby cheeked pet transforms into a professional animal model posing with the perfect amount of innocence and cuteness.
Moscow-based friends, photographer Daria Khoroshavina (Dasha) and prop and food styler Olga Kolesnikova (Olya) partnered up to create mouth-watering cinemagraphs. Titled, Kitchen Ghosts, so far the pair has produced stunning and delicious animations of them preparing French toast, breakfast, a pear and walnut strudel, and a pasta dish with chicken and honey orange sauce. Their mission is to make food photography beautiful, appetizing and exciting.
i just absolutely love the concept that harry and louis are two young, beautiful, virile millionaires and they spend a seriously decent chunk of their free time buying clothes for stuffed animals, dressing two rainbow plush bears, collecting props, researching gay history, and photographing rainbow bondage bear and sugarbear in elaborate sets.
Working with inexperienced models can sometimes be a challenge. You need them to be comfortable and you need natural, compelling expressions.
One way to help is to add props, costumes, and themes to the shoot. It gives them a thing to focus on. If they don’t know what to do with their hands, give them something to hold. Or give them a character to hide in. It can give them a sense of confidence and loosen up their imagination.
Justin Poulsen is a conceptual photographer who specializes in building physical props – rather than relying solely on digital wizardry – to make ideas come to life.
To demonstrate this, Justin created “thumb” drives loaded with his portfolio, allowing potential clients to experience both the tactile and visual quality of his craft.
Client: Justin Poulsen
Creative Director: Ian Grais, Chris Staples
Art Director: Hans Thiessen
Writer: Sean O'Connor
Photographer: Justin Poulsen
Prop Builder: Justin Poulsen