I really enjoyed reading about Brenda Ann Kenneally’s photo’s and the stories they told. At first I kind of passed her off as just attempting to shock people with these photographs and as I went through them they really told a story and did a very good job at showing the dire straights some people live in. I especially enjoyed the story of Andy and appreciated how long she spent on this project. She does a perfect job of showing what growing up in that type of neighborhood can do. As great of a job she did at showing how the neighborhood can pull people in and not allow them to succeed or leave she didn’t do it in a very broad way.
Her photographs, while “Raw” and “Gritty” don’t do much to tell any other story than the one of the streets being a way of life and death. There are many people who have grown up in terrible situations who have continued in school and have made something of themselves. Yes that number may be a smaller percentage but they certainly do exist and aren’t hard to find. There are families living in these sorts of neighborhoods now whose parents aren’t on drugs and teach their children the right way to live who end up doing very well. There are also children whose parents are on drugs who end up not making the same mistakes and taking the same paths to destruction their parents before them took.
When you realize that there is a lot more to these stories than Brenda Ann Kenneally shows you start to see her and her work for what it is: One note. She has mastered that one note but hasn’t taken the time to learn any others to be able to play a full song and that is where she falls short. Yes, gritty, raw pictures taken by an outsider may be edgy and that might be what sells but how about doing something different and also showing the other side of things? Where are the pictures of the success stories to show these young children that they don’t have to go down the same road as all the ones before them?
I think Postman would change his tune if he saw the way the internet and new digital media could be used to tell a story. When you think of digital media in this age you don’t immediately think of all the ways it may be better than what someone could do just with print. Print is good but you can’t print enough and distribute to everywhere that something on the internet can be distributed to. The internet and the media on it can reach places that would otherwise not be reached by regular print. Kenneally does a good job of telling the story with a mix of words and photo’s that wouldn’t have the same effect if either were missing from the other. I think that alone proves that Postman has a flaw in his thoughts towards the new digital age.