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Fall 2020 Candidate: Anyone willing to generally look at my writing sample?


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Hi all, I'm a prospective MA in Art History candidate, and I was hoping someone would be willing to look over my writing sample (or at least parts of it, don't want torture you). My paper in short is examining the Civil Rights Movement's visual and sociopolitical legacy upon Black Lives Matter Movement photojournalism. Also, I know programs vary in capping the writing sample length. So for example, are we expected to edit 50 page essay to read cohesively like it's 20 pages, OR is it up to us which set of pages we cut out or choose to submit? Hopefully that made sense. 

Here's a little preview. God, I hate re-reading it, but shit's gotta get done. Please PM me if you're able to read more, thank you so much ahead of time!!! You'll have the undying gratitude of this stressed out student :D  

"...By the mid 20th century, the role of photographic imagery was integral to influencing the course of a social movement and hardening our collective narratives and memories. In the present day, photography remains a powerful tool in capturing the fleeting reality of an event as well as providing a more layered, nuanced form of storytelling. In essence, photography “makes the random, accidental, and fragmentary details of everyday existence meaningful while preserving the actual details of the scene.” It “simultaneously hosts an internal dialogue (content, style, the transformation of reality into a two-dimensional representation) and an external dialogue that changes as the time changes.” Consequently, the context surrounding photos and their transmission is a significant site to study. 

Whether consciously or unconsciously, contemporary photographers are appropriating the iconography from its predecessors of the Civil Rights Movement. Although the interpretation and contexts surrounding Civil Rights photographs have engendered different responses, they still deeply inform contemporary anti-racism movements, one of the most prominent ones being Black Lives Matter (BLM). This paper argues that photography from the Civil Rights Movement and Black Lives Matter share profound similarities in their construction, transmission, and interpretation of social protest images. Although BLM images have changed in conforming to present day modes of visual transmission, the contextual and visual parallels are crucial to recognize. Photographs from both the civil rights era and BLM can offer a “particular framing(s) of news events offered in newspapers through their selection and omission, depiction, symbolism and lexical context (caption and headline).” 3 This paper will thus focus on key protest images from both movements and put them into dialogue with one another."

Edited by EyLC
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