This image functions as a metonym in multiple senses. First of all, as it is one of the few images of early black settlers in Los Angeles, it stands in for the whole set of images an information about black life in this place during this era that does not exist. At the same time, this instance of metonymy is also metonymic itself; that is, it evidences an absence of attention and record of the subaltern which is generalizable across the entire project of "the archive."
This image conveys the power of quilting as mode of activism and memorialization. Allowing for juxtaposition and collage of various materials and perspectives over time, quiliting is a particularly affective medium, evoking senses of domesticity and comfort while also conveying political message, this image is particularly striking in its parallels to the 1980s AIDS quilt.
It draws attention to the role of the activist in toxic pollution and the nature of activism itself, particularly through the experience of Diane Wilson.
I think the image is situated well in the overall photoessay. The last paragraph about the potential visit isn't necessary, though.
A comment could be made on the experience of women in toxic activism, too, perhaps noting the toxic masculinity inherent in the petro-culture of many large scale polluters.
The image and text show how toxics are pushed to the peripheries of urban spaces, and in this case how they are tied to a colonial legacy. The image on the left is almost like a reveal shot on a hidden camera show, revealing how the plant is releasing waste into the river.
The picture and caption are great. Extremely interesting. They communicate the importance and complexity of the interstitial in understanding how toxics affect the body. It advances ethnographic insight through drawing attention to a previously unknown space of toxic agency and affect. I would hesitate to call the interstitial 'less material' than the 'more material' structures, though.
This found image advances insight into discourses of racial inequality; specificially, the discourse of City of Austin government regarding racial inequality in the context of the City's efforts to reduce racial inequality. The image is a loaded image: a familiar powerpoint presentation slide that indicates an offical awareness of an issue, and a project to address that issue. The ethnographer draws our attention to how the issue of racial inequality is perceived and framed by the City: as one which characterises brown and black people by need, lacking, and helplessness in the top slide, and by violence and oppression in the bottom slide. The caption tells the audience about impressions of such a discourse, and encourages a double-take: is this the only perception and framing of racial inequality we could possibly take? Whose perception and framing is this? Is there another way of seeing it and representing it? This image promotes a critical gaze to a seemingly progressive project, and enlivens a productive dissatisfaction, if not anger.
The old woman's sign, her stance and her position at the banks of a river indicate the conflict over waterbodies in India. The conflict is between political-administrative representations and the lived experience of the land/water boundary. The focus on the old woman's role in the protest implies a resilience and emphasis on lived, long-term experience of place. The sentiment is one of anger directed towards hidden political-administrative bodies.
This found image from an online news source shows the importance of faith and ritual in India's climate change action and discourse. The ethnographic insight gleaned from this concerns how human traditions intersect with contemporary challenges, specifically in India. The sentiment I get from this image is hopelessness. The men posing for the camera - directing their attention away from the ritual - indicates a kind of non-commital to the issue at hand. This is supported by the ethnographer's decision to include the 'trending stories' sidebar, which distracts in a similar way to the camera.
The visualization and caption shows an example of how de-contamination happens and its effects on a micro-scale through a literal shifting of the terrain (shifting of the soil). I read this as an attempt by the ethnographer to show how the meaning of toxicity is complex, and the role of the nonhuman (Terrain, soil, plants, clay) in shaping how toxicity is knowable to humans.
The caption and the image are complex, complicated in their implications and entanglements with personal sensorial experience and the muddled definitions of the language we use to talk about the issues of contamination. The image seems straightforward, but caption questions the notions of 'tradition' in landscape practices, scalability in agricultural practices, and even the idea of cause and effect in the ways we tell the stories of deaths 'caused' by the fires. The caption, therefore, reveals all the unstable layers of ways-of-knowing upon which our epistemology of toxicity is built. What is 'traditional'? When does the notion of tradition become exploited in the name of destruction? How can we possibly discuss the 'benefits' of landmines, weapons of war? How do threats of violence function as safeguards against contamination? How does contamination of violence compare to conatmination of ecological destruction? Who benefits from which types of contamination? I am confronted with how much I don't know, how much is left unanswered, and how difficult it is to disentangle warfare, post-conflict, and contamination from one another.