Thursday, June 18, 2009

Fame & Celebrity (Reflection paper)

As Goldberg emphasized, photography offered people to own images of their heroes (p.103). Those heroes vary from people to people, from culture to culture and from generation to generation. I remember, in the middle of 70s, the Beatles was hero for many young people in Mongolia. But since the country was socialist country, it was not allowed to listen to or talk about the Beatles. If they were caught doing so people accused them as people having influences from capitalist ideology and recommended special training to enlighten those young people. Although there were strong restrictions not to import capitalist music or art products, some singers or students studied abroad brought magazines and records of the Beatles. Images and records of the Beatles were distributed secretly from hand to hand. Some people sold images or rented records but most people gave them for nothing. Only concern was to keep everything in secret from adults. Young people including my brother were hiding images of the Beatles’ band somewhere. Inspired by listening the Beatles, almost every teenagers wanted to learn a guitar. In the evenings, a group of young people gathered together to learn to play a guitar at the entrance of our apartment. Then Mongolian bands were established and young people started to own their images without any fair.

Now everything is opposite in Mongolia. Everybody can keep images of everybody whoever he/she likes. Tabloid newspapers mushroomed after 1990 are benefiting a lot to make people celebrities. There are many debates are going on whether particular newspapers were suppose to publish those photographs or not, is that ethical to publish pictures from family album etc. Some people use the media to become famous posing in front of the camera or inviting reporters everywhere they go. This moment in Mongolian journalism reminds me journalism in the nineteenth century in America.

From this reading, I found interesting things related to Alexandre Duma and Charles Dickens. Alexandre Duma’s books are very popular in my country. We learned about him a lot but I never saw his images until to read Goldberg’s book. Charles Dickens and George Sand’s book are familiar to Mongolian readers but we did not know anything how they related to Photography. In this sense, I got new knowledge as from previous readings.


February, 2001

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