Photography functions both as a Mass Medium and as content for other Mass Media. It can be used as a means of documenting events and as an artistic medium to entertain/comment . The CBC News has been running a series of articles exploring Ottawa‘s past through archival photography. As with any form of Mass Media, these pieces of media reveal target audience, values. beliefs & ideologies, and convey intended and unintended messages.
The Anglo-Irish police officer in front of a French Canadian owned store reveal/suggest the cultural-socioeconomic structural lines of Canadian society . To further cement this image a truly Canadian, note the shop window. Red Rose Tea, advertised for sale in the shop window, is a classic emblem of Canada. Red Rose Tea was a beverage company established by Theodore Harding Estabrooks in 1894 in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada. It is considered an iconic part of Canadian culture and many consumers have a strong emotional attachment to the brand ( Only in Canada, eh ? Pity….. ).
The white working men pose depict their social class and the style of clothing of the time. Notice the little girls to the left dressed in very adult clothes of young ladies. Childhood was seen as miniature adulthood and girls & women had roles to fill that were as defined as the men posing in the shot.
The young girls in the following shot, infant Princess Margriet of the Netherlands and her sisters, resided in Ottawa during the WW II, they too had roles to play, even as children. They were emblems of a social structure, a society & people under threat, and the Yousuf Karsh portrait is intended to portray/represent a mother and her children who have sought sanctuary.
The potential of heroism & compassion can also be portrayed in scenes of tragedy and calamity , as the following images demonstrate.
Clicking the images will take you( new tab) to original CBC articles which include more images and information. Consider the values, beliefs & ideologies the that the CBC is trying to convey about Canada, Canadian culture and Ottawa, in our 150th year.
UNICEF launched a new animated series meant to bring attention to the youngest victims of the Syrian refugee crisis, Unfairy Tales. Created by ad agency 180LA, the videos chronicle real children’s journeys from Syria by juxtaposing stunning animation with terrifying narrations of the terrible events wrought by this globally impactful humanitarian disaster. The first story, Malak and the Boat, tells seven-year-old Malak’s harrowing story of his journey across the Mediterranean seeking shelter from the Syrian conflict. Visual design company House of Colors built a custom animation algorithm for the film that gives the waves a stylized, almost autonomous behaviour as if the sea were a sentient thing.
While intended to contrast the contemporary mass media view of fairy tales with the harsh reality of the refugee children, it actually reveals the core of fairy tales and folklore. The power of fairy tales to convey the harsh reality through metaphor and archetype is clearly evident in this work of animation. Childhood can be fraught with perils, both imagined and very real. Through the fairy tale these perils and the human spirit of resilience can be effectively portrayed and modelled. The real outcomes & collateral damage, rather than the Disney/Victorian happy ever afterwards, can be presented, that those with power & voice can strive to create a positive outcome for those caught up in a wave of societal conflict & extreme upheaval.
Vinay Menone, Toronto Star arts and life columnist & feature writer, offers observations on adapting to Canadian society and the specific advantages offered in Toronto.
This is a world-class city with great prospects. All you need to do is work hard and follow the rules. Don’t worry, you will — nothing elevates a human more than a second chance at life, especially when the first one was snatched away rather than squandered. When you gaze up at the CN Tower, think of it as pointing at the cosmos and the infinite possibilities now within your reach.
He points out the range of food as an example of how cultural touchstones are always near.
The good news: not much needs to change with your diet. Toronto is one big Lazy Susan, upon which all of the world’s spices and regional dishes are just a few twirls away. Kibbeh, tabbouleh, shawarma, mujaddara, you name it and someone is selling it. Or they are preparing it in restaurants such as Byblos, Tabule and Takht-e Tavoos.
It is his observations on mass media popular culture that are of particular interest. Menon provides the insight on how to navigate the flood of Mass Media influences and recognizes that it has value , while also being a continuum of styles, content and messages, “I’m not suggesting Star Wars or Miley Cyrus are equivalent to Shakespeare or Mozart” . He identifies the wide range of possibilities available to widening and sharing in community experience. from opera and live theatre to the the AGO, ROM, Science Centre, Ripley’s Aquarium and Toronto Zoo.
If you have children, don’t be alarmed by how popular culture shapes their interests. Music, movies, fashion, games, TV, books, these diversions only thrive in places of imagination and harmony. This is why religious extremists, like the ones you are fleeing, are so eager to impose barbaric laws that govern daily life.
“Art is a path to enlightenment.
It is the enemy of totalitarianism.”