No such thing as a bad image

 "There's no such thing as a bad images – just clichéd images..."

I think Nick Smith said that when I was watching him hard at work in Helsinki and it's become one of my mantras ever since.

Perhaps the staff at Paris Match need to adopt this little motto too.

The magazine recently published a double page spread on student poverty in France.

The Independent reports:  

"The excellent black and white photographs of students prostituting themselves or looking for food in dustbins won the magazine's annual prize for student photojournalism. Student poverty certainly exists in France but the photos were entirely faked."

The photographers, Strasbourg University students Guillaume Chauvin and Rémi Hubert claimed,

"We pushed the clichés to the limit. We thought the whole thing was so hackneyed that it could never win ... We wanted to call into question the inner-workings of the attitude of the kind of media which portrays human distress with complacency and voyeurism."

See the pictures here.

Paris Match declined to pay the pair the €5,000 prize and donated it instead to the university's fine arts department.


Steve MarshallComment