Fight for your right to photo!
As the United States moves closer and closer to an authoritarianism that is simultaneously perilous and absurd, even the most trivial aspects of normative life are increasingly coming under attack. More and more often photographers are being challenged, threatened, and even arrested when taking photographs of the most banal subjects. In San Francisco a photographer was threatened for taking photographs in the BART system even though there is no law that forbids it. There are numerous accounts of photographers taking photos of dams, freeway systems, etc. who have been arrested and had their film/video confiscated. Perhaps, since any kind of education in the arts seems to have been eviscerated from the public school systems in the U.S., the aesthetic sense that is able to see the formal magnificence of monumental public works is simply no longer being cultivated. The creepier and more likely option, however, is that when law enforcement officials imagine themselves to be looking through a camera they can only see with the eyes of terrorists. The latest outrage, reported on BoingBoing, involves a photographer who was held for hours by the NYPD for? For taking photos of American flags in front of a New York courthouse. BoingBoing has linked to a legal site that explains your rights as a photographer in downloadable PDF format. I recommend that all photographers give this a thorough read.
Filed under: art, culture, daily life, photography, politics, society | 2 Comments
Tags: authoritarianism, irrationality, legal rights of photographers, photographer's rights, photography, stupidity, U.S. belligerance