Kerstin Hacker provided interesting view points on a number of issues that dealt with the notions of black african photographers and how they took photographs of things that were entirely different to what the western audience thought about african photography, the serene and sugar coated nature given out by much of the nature and tribal photography shown by well known nature publications such as national geographic and photographers such as George Roger who upon experiencing war photography in the form of the Bergen-Belson concentration camps wanted to gain back his sense of naivity.
To me personally, Kerstin Hacker introduced a facet of African culture, albeit a significantly westernized culture, that I did not see in everyday life. The fact that the image of poverty, famine, nomadic shamanistic tribes, and wild animals on the sweeping plains was all that was associated with Africa and that troubled nations like Sierra Lione and Ethiopia were considered the total embodiment of what Africa was about was quite saddening considering there were many African nations such as South Africa, Nigeria and also upon further investigation Rwanda were back seated and they were the ones who rose from the dust, creating a significant middle class of citizens, everyday people with everyday problems that didn’t involve famine or animals, more so the political ideological type of revolution.
In addition to all these different faces of Africa, the notion that photography, a visual tool through the use of media and more recently the internet, helped in giving people a more educated view of what other parts of Africa are doing, the everyday lives of other africans and what is significant to them, not what western photographers portray of Africa which ultimately we as the outside world only have, was to me a great inspiration of the power a photographer possesses in how information is perceived by the general public who do not know better.
The final interesting point I thought Kerstin made, although really small was that where the boundary is between just being an observer behind the glass and when you are a human being, watching the sick die. To this I thought, what if you can be both? Taking a photograph of yourself helping out or modifying the situation yourself may add another dimension to the photos, of how fortunate we are not to be in the position of the sick and weak present in these famine photos. A method of sharp contrast can be utilized to stir emotion in the audience.