Visual representation -Task 2
London riots, Chavez Campbell
Published on Aug 17, 2011 by The Guardian
Chavez Campbell was one of the many young people taking great advantage of the free youth programs the British government had previously provided for them. Throughout this television report ???The London riots??™ by The Guardian, Chavez presents his predictions, views and opinions on the devastating London riots.
Themes of both belonging and not belonging are clearly scrutinized throughout this visual text. Important connotations of belonging such as commonplace, common experiences and identity are epitomized throughout.
A huge concept of belonging is ???commonplace??™. Chavez Campbell is one of many economically challenged families living in the western suburbs of London. Being poor is no excuse, however it may explain the amplitude of shoplifting within the community. Chavez protests ???it doesn??™t justify it but they think: I aint got no money for this: I aint got no money for that: I cant get a job, but I need it.???
The director of the video report artistically uses the technique of close up shots. A close camera angle of Chavez??™s facial features, deepens and further engages the relationship between the audience and the text while adding a personal touch, tone and temperament to his words. This is important as it relates to the theme of not belonging. Yes you may share commonplace, however ideological ties and values may completely different. Therefore choosing to not conform or not belong may be a positive decision, towards self-preservation.
Common experiences are another important concept of belonging. Chavez shares views and opinions on many of the same issues as other young community members. Consequently feeling the same loss and anger at the government over the destruction of free youth programs, therefore understanding the reasons why young rioters may feel they are stripped of their voice. However Chavez chooses to alienate himself from the destruction of the riots. ???There is nothing to do, they are closing youth clubs so the streets are crazy.??? ???I??™m trying to stay on the straight??¦ people have looked at me different??¦but I know I??™m a good person, so it doesn??™t bother me??™ he discloses. The vital use of the visual technique, flash back provides context for the audience, while simultaneously, emotionally disturbing them. This brings Chavez??™s violent words to reality, further engaging their interest.
This is important as it shows that sharing common experiences, views and opinions such as the effect of government policies on youth, may not always result in positive actions i.e.) riots. Confirming that sense belonging may lead to diminishment of individual morals and decision-making.
The issues of identity, through power and strength of the majority are important connotations of belonging. ???I don??™t think its over. Because everyone came together and created this massive war zone, I think it will happen again.??? Chavez assures.
The director cleverly uses the visual technique of body language; Chavez??™s body language seems withdrawn and almost unsure at the thought of another painful riot. Drawing powerful emotions of empathy from the audience, engaging them further. As a result increasing the relationship between audience and text. This report is an example of people gaining negative identity through groups of the majority, reminding us that a sense of belonging and the incontrovertibly feeling of empowerment as a result of that, may not necessarily be used for good.
Themes of both belonging and not belonging are undoubtedly explored throughout the visual text, ???The London riots??™ by The Guardian. These themes are successfully supported by visual techniques such a close up shot, body language and flash-backs each one with an important impact on the audience and significant implication about what belonging really means.