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Transcript of Flower Power
The Story Related to the Photograph
Myth of Photographic Truth
An iconic photo of Tiananmen Square event
Barthes' Myth of Photographic Truth
Barthes' Theory of Semiotics
Something about soldiers
Are they real war supporters?
"All of a sudden, I realized 'them' was that soldier in front of me -- a human being I could just as easily have been going out on a date with,""It wasn't a war machine, it was just a bunch of guys with orders."
- - Jan Rose Kasmir
Influence & Pierce's Theory of Semiotics
Iconic:uniforms - soldiers
Symbolic: flower - peace
guns - war
Indexical:the action of pointing guns to the girl - threatening the girl to go away
What happened beyong the picture
Social and aesthetic norm
Darkroom & Photo edit software
What is here now
( the image)
What was there then
the referent, or object,
thing, or place
Distort by photographer
Torment to innocent citizen
4 people were killed
About 700 people were arrested
Around 1400 people were injured
The action she's doing looks like praying. She's praying for Peace.
Gauzy juxtaposition of armed force
Flower child innocence
Soldiers are leaning backwards.
"I had the feeling the soldiers were more afraid of her than she was of the 'bayonets'."
"The messages of the flower children were peace, love, do your own thing, escape from dull, boring, conventional reality."
- Jean Snedegar
Breaking the convention:
Masculinity VS Femininity
Noisy march protest VS Quiet Flower Power
Feel free to ask questions.
Media and democratic potential
Media and public sphere
gun and flower
war and peace
main transmission media:
Young pacifist Jane Rose Kasmir planting a flower on the bayonets of guards at the Pentagon during a protest against the Vietnam War on October 21, 1967
She is extremely brave.
“It was a huge demonstration, a million young people, but I saw this girl in front of a line of demonstrators. She was performing a kind of psychodrama, very dignified, saying a prayer and holding this flower and getting gradually closer to the soldiers. She was trying to catch their eyes and I could see they didn't know what to do. They were more terrified of her than she was of them.” said by Marc Riboud.
Later, In 2004, Riboud reunited with Kasmir when the latter was protesting the Iraq War in London.
Terms (concepts) related to "Practice"
People see the demonstration by a young pacifist from two sides.
Pictures’ intended meaning
Our nature is originally peaceful and beautiful; there's shouldn't be any war exist. Sometimes start a war doesn't help anything but stop the war does.
By taking this photography, Riboud shows the
The flower has drawn viewers’ attention with the center position of the picture.
The picture interpellates the viewer with the deserved peaceful world as long as the war is stopped.
The picture uses the little flower to target the peace.
It involves people into its ideological system.
"Marc Riboud had been covering a demonstration against the Vietnam War in Washington and was walking to the airport to return to Paris when he spotted Jane Rose." ( selected from Flower Power vs Vietnam War)
The soldiers ---> People who play for war blindly
The girl ---> Hippies
The bayonets ---> War
The armours ---> Military force; military system
The flower ---> Love and Peace
To sum up: people who play the war are hiding under the military forces;
Hippies use love and peace to against the war
"Truth is always culturally inflected, never pure and uninfluenced by contextual factors."
"There is no singular truth to be identified outside the myths or ideologies of cultural expression."
Andrew C.“Flower Child.” Smithsonian magazine. April 2004.
Alex S-H. “Flower Child, Pentagon.” WordPress.com. May 15, 2009.
Cristen Conger. “How Flower Power Worked.” howstuffworks.com.
“Flower power wilts.”BBC news. December 1999.
Roger W.“Flower Power Revisited.”Archive ariticle. June 22, 1987. Vol. 27 No. 25
David M. “Flowers, Guns and an Iconic Snapshot.” washingtonpost.com. March 18, 2007.
The picture can be find on the following website: