conflict in ukraine It’s been off the front pages of the world over the past few months and Zelensky has decided to take on the role of its queen in an effort to regain visibility. For this Olena ZelenskaThe wife of the President of Ukraine gave a report to the magazine the trend, “Photography is always an object in context”, Susan Sontag taught us, brand the trend is a luxury fashion magazine, which is associated with celebrities Around the world and in the style of Haute Couture. Headquartered in New York, it is considered the most influential fashion magazine in the world.
Part of the election campaign that brought Zelensky to the presidency occurred while the fourth season of the series was taking place. public servant, in which he as the protagonist and Zelenska as a screenwriter. The combination of fantasy and reality is at the origin of what remains in Ukraine today. But while for some people all reality is reduced to one story, for others, all history may not become a soap opera that blurs the distinction between reality and fiction.
Annie leibovitzmagazine photographer Rolling stoneThe author of the historical photographs and partner of Susan Sontag for 15 years was selected to report. The scenarios associated with the war in his photographs are real. Reports take place at the Marisinki Palace, the royal residence until 1917, on the outskirts of Kyiv, at the presidential office and at Antonov Airport. The purpose, Zelenska explains in the report, is the solicitation of weapons for the war.
In the picture chosen for the cover of the magazine we see Zelenska sitting on a staircase of the marble staircase of the palace, looking at the camera. Her hair is disheveled for the parameters of a fashion magazine, without makeup, without jewelry, low shoes and dresses of calm colors, with black pants, light shirts. The only touch of difference is the fringe on the shirt. Zelenska does not have a watch or bracelet, the spotlight sitting on the marble shows the Palace’s pillars behind her between which can be seen bags of sand. Inside the magazine, a photo shows a larger shot of the same situation. there you can see gap A large blue mat with a pile of sand. An armed soldier with his back to back poses for a photo.
In another photo, Zelenska is seen next to the wreckage of a downed plane, standing with a group of female soldiers at Antonov Airport. She wears a blue coat that stands out from the rest of the military women photographed, armed and in camouflage clothing, she wears a skirt and a long blue coat that takes the coat to her chest. Clothing colors match the remains of the plane, The women soldiers look in different directions, as if they are taking care of their safety at that time. Image combines glamor and pose in a combat setting, The craft appears. Female soldiers are real, the setting is real but, stolen in that moment of battle (or as part of their actions in the military?), soldiers (there is no feminine for this word) pose the trend,
real spread strategy
We see a drill, artificial poses with real actors, the difference between real and imaginary, The simulation is not hidden, the settings, sets, poses, costumes, main and secondary characters were chosen. everything is visible, There is no false representation, female soldiers act as female soldiers, the simulation turns into real photos and even Ukraine’s Defense Ministry shared a photo of the report on its social network, In this case, simulation is a strategy for the propagation of reality.
The presidential couple stars in the other two photos in the report. In one of them both looked at the camera, Zelensky wore a simple military green shirt, he in blue, shirt and pants. They wear elegant and sober clothes, holding her arm firmly and firmly, giving her a sense of security and care., There is no luxury in the image, only her rings are visible, the colors of her clothing stripped and gray to match the atmosphere. At the same time, in the second photo, both are looking towards the camera, this time holding hands. In the epigraph they tell us that the picture was taken in one of the offices of the presidential complex in Kyiv. While Zelensky’s T-shirt and pants match a green leather chair, Zelenska is in the same ruffled ivory shirt with which she posed on the marble staircase. Behind them can be seen a freshly framed portrait of Zelensky on a chair still draped. They do not smile, their gestures express concern and sadness. Every detail in four images is taken care of, counted,
The photos managed to get people talking about Ukraine again, but not about the war. He discovered through the strategy of Romanticization of Conflict Put the spotlight there. But arbitration at any cost has its own risks. Not because you can’t talk about war in fashion magazines, there were actually other experiences where fashion and war intersected, resulting in powerful and disruptive images. For example, who starred Lee Miller, model and photographer who previously photographed liberated Nazi death camps, After photographing the horrors of the Dachau concentration camp, Miller and David Sherman managed to break into Hitler’s apartment in Munich. Sherman, reporter for LifePainted her naked in Hitler’s bathtub. There is a message of appropriation, irony, vengeance in that image. symbol of victory. In the famous photo, Lee Miller is in the bathtub, with a portrait of Hitler in the background, and Miller’s mud-stained shoes face up on the bath mat. This picture is not a simple provocation but a defiant and demanding message.
As the Zelensky couple reports, the war seems to have been captured by the rules of fashion and entertainment. There are calculated currencies and melodrama. For a few days the front pages of world journalism returned to talk about Ukraine, but not about war or refugees, or loss of life, or geopolitical interests. But the timeliness of this report or not.
The medium is the message
It seems that the “society of spectacle” invaded everything. War also represented. Fashion magazine as a channel in this case Neutralizes and wraps images in the register of superficiality and business circulation, The commitment to visibility comes down to the mediocrity of the images.
The photos were also published on Annie Leibovitz’s social network, They went viral and garnered thousands of rejection responses: The Hollywoodization of tragedy, the trivialization of war as a consumer product, the inverted mix of records, the superimposition of glamor and suffering, the beautification of violence in a scene of devastation, A lack of empathy in the nexus of fashion and politics, communication without ethics, and a frivolity that disrespects victims There are some arguments of conflict that can be read in opinion pieces and on social networks.
Some voices who did not question the report pointed out that there is a well-thought-out communication strategy behind these photos that helps keep Ukraine on the media agenda and that in times of women’s empowerment, Olena Zelenska’s attitude serves as a reminder. The role of women in the struggle.
What about the reports of millions of Ukrainian refugees forced to flee their homes under Russian bombardment? Hard data from the war indicate that around 9 million Ukrainians had to flee their homes and seek refuge abroad, the vast majority of whom are women and children. Men in the age group of 18 to 60 are forced to stay in the country and are asked to enlist in the armed forces. It is estimated that 5,000 Ukrainian civilians have been killed and there is no exact data on the number of Ukrainian soldiers killed, but some media speak of 200 per day since the start of the conflict. On the Russian side, the Pentagon’s Under Secretary of Defense Policy Colin Kahl told Washington that the military has suffered between 70,000 and 80,000 casualties since launching its military operation in late February. It is still impossible to know the truth of these numbers.
Susan Sontag, in her book about the pain of others, discusses the problem of the exhibition of horrors and states that on the one hand there is a hardening of a kind of spectator, which demands greater pain, greater cruelty, greater accumulation of anonymous suffering; And on the other hand, there is an excess of horror, moments in which the horror is exposed. The ruins left by war have always been a matter of aesthetic contemplation. But nothing like that happens in this report. “War and Fashion” photography focuses on the story of a presidential couple in a besieged palace.
Without falling into moral or self-righteous arguments, these photographs taken in battle scenes do not evoke emotion, solidarity, or knowledge about the suffering caused by war. Nor help the Ukrainian presidential couple get more weapons.
Instead, they appear to be photos where what Sontag described is verified: “Its main effect is to turn the world into a supermarket,
Some time ago Marshall McLuhan taught us that ‘the medium is the message. the trend He is the one who created, took and transmitted the photographs. Photos in a war zone became fashion photos in a fashion magazine. Is there anything in the social conflicts and human dramas around the world today that can be kept out of the possession of the aesthetic and trade register? Would the photos in this report fall under the category of war photography?
The conflict between Russia and Ukraine continues.