ED KASHI
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December 03, 2006

This note came in from Denise O. Mangen, a photographer, student and educator at NYU…

“thanks for tipping me off to the flipbook frenzy. got me all fired up in many ways. most frustrating was not the criticism but the lack of constructivity in it! a major point missed is the co-creation of meaning. regardless of medium and mode of dissemination, author, subject and viewer/reader all work to do the telling of any story. what is unfortunate is the distanciation of this flow from our conscious consideration of said meaning. in much the same way that a photographer brings her own subjuectivities to bear upon the telling of a story, a viewer will to the story being told. words such as authoritarian and even objectivity bring nothing productive to the table, but rather reinforce and perpetuate the mass machine of media and misunderstanding. what i love about the flipbook is not the look at everyday kurdish life…is not the mode of presentation (on msnbc or mediastorm)…is not that ed kashi is the storyteller… what moves me about this piece is that its mode of presentation allows for multiple entry points into understanding the photographic process (in general and yours, specifically) and simultaneously enables an understanding that this is what ed kashi saw and is telling us about everyday kurdish life. the distinction may seem subtle, but is very important and is the difference, i believe, between the rantings of some of LS folks and the praises being sung. the distinction is rooted in the multiple layers of meaning in this piece: the story that you tell in your images, the story that is told in mediastorm’s presentation of them, the story that is told in msnbc’s packaging, and so on. they do next exist disparately, but are instead coeval and simultaneous. that’s quite an achievement; on your part, for storm and crew, and for the viewer who is moved by, even if not cognizant of, these layers.

kudos: for your storytelling and for shaking things up enough to get a least a few photogs to think more thoughtfully, critically, and creatively about what it is that they’re doing.”


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