Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Is Visual Media only creating biases?

We know for a fact that for years now visual media has been for fulfilling the purpose of entertaining the masses.

However, it is a little different for the creators. You ask, how?

Well, any form of creative produce, may it be in terms of visual media, art, sculpture or others of the sorts have an idea or ideology working behind it. The idea or ideology might be the least important in someone’s point of view, yet it might seek to be of utmost significance to some. The difference is for the audiences to figure out.

Creating a bias or having a certain idea/opinion has been a part of our cultures for long now. To draw an example- We can start with John Berger’s essay – Ways of Seeing. It’s easily available on the web like everything else today.

The essay once read, will help you understand that a work of art created in the past was to conjure a certain image or impression of a certain element of beings who view them. Berger then brings in his reference, Frans Hals, a Dutch Golden Age portrait painter, and his works.

Image source: Wikipedia
" The last two great paintings by Frans Hals portray the Governors and the Governesses of an Aims House for old paupers in the Dutch seventeenth-century city of Haarlem. They were officially commissioned portraits. Hais, an old man of over eighty, was destitute. Most of his life he had been in debt. During the winter of 1664, the year he began painting these pictures, he obtained three loads of peat on public charity, otherwise, he would have frozen to death. Those who now sat for him were administrators of such public charity. The author records these facts and then explicitly says that it would he incorrect to read into the paintings any criticism of the sitters. There is no evidence, he says, that Hale painted them in a spirit of bitterness."

The above excerpt is from John Berger’s essay – Ways of Seeing that should help you understand the point of this write-up.

The painting being talked about is called Regents of the Oldmen’s Almshouse by Frans Hals.

Considering that and then bring in films into this spectrum of bias creating. There are a number of questions that will come to your mind.

Is it okay for an artist / filmmaker / painter / sculptor to take sides before he/she has even created their piece of work?

Is it okay for the creator to not just take sides on his own but also persuade the masses to do so through his work?

Yes, because a work of art comes from individualistic outlook and opinion. Without that, imagine the world of films – there wouldn’t be any genres if opinion and differential styles cease to exist. What if the foundations of the entertainment industry were standing on only and only STAGNANCY?


Humans are always on the other end of a bore. This spectrum of entertainment is the only tool that has the capability to spread awareness, help masses take sides, create biases and eventually lead to the discovery of newer styles and ideas.

Written by Smita Ganguli
Aspiring cyber journalist but too damn opinionated.

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