Re: A few more thoughts about photos...

Kathleen A. Gillogly (Kagillogly@AOL.COM)
Thu, 11 Jan 1996 12:57:19 -0500

In a message dated 96-01-10 22:41:28 EST, D. Lanclos writes (in response to
Ruby Rohrlich):

>I'm not sure how uniquely "American" it is,
>though--it may be characteristic of Western tourists in general, for all I

It's also characteristic of Japanese, Indonesian, and Chinese tourists. I
have been the object of this attention. What a strange feeling -- who, me,
exotic??? I ought to be used to it by now, having spent something like a
total of 8 years in the field.

In Indonesia (Jogjakarta), my sister had people following her all over to
photograph her. Some would position themselves near her to be in the photo as
well. After a while, they asked to stand with her for a picture. She had
very short sort of blond hair and very fair skin. For some reason, people
had decided she looked like Demi Moore. Quite a stretch in our opinion, but
the photographers were so thrilled.

In a message dated 96-01-11 08:10:40 EST, Anthony Dauer writes:

> Of course, this doesn't count when your on
>the beach taking photos of women or men in their swimsuits or lack thereof.
At which Thai excelled in Phuket and Ko Samui and other beaches in Thailand
where Europeans go sans bathing suit. It's hysterical to see a Thai matron
try to get into position to secretly take a picture of a tan, blonde, topless
european girl. (Funny, they didn't take photos of the overweight middle-aged
women who also went topless...) Many tourists would probably have been
willing to have their picture taken. Of course, many others think it an
incredible invasion of privacy to have Thais sneaking photos of them. Do
they hate having their photos taken? Or do they just dislike having the
'natives' pulling on them what they pull on the 'natives'?

As far as that goes, my American mother was pretty amazed by the whole scene,
too. Americans and Europeans certainly have different values re: nudity.

But back to photographs -- this attitude that it's o.k. to take pictures of
anyone, anytime, seems to be inherent in the technology of the camera. It's
so easy to point and click that asking permission seems superfluous. Any
group that has access to cameras seems to acquire this arrogance. It makes
me glad I gave up photography.

Kate Gillogly