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The Law and The Enforcers

Death leaves a heartache, no one can heal.๐Ÿ’• Love leaves a memory no one can steal~ Germa

Stuart Hall right about the speculation of the other and how images can carry different meanings when looking at them. He writes how to meanings can be carried by the text itself and by the symbolism of the picture itself. This picture is from the protest of black lives matter after the death of George Floyd. George Floyd was killed by a police officer who was on duty. Not knowing, but only seeing this image one can start to make their own speculations as to what may be happening in this picture.

When looking at this picture it is clear there is a division between the civilians and that of the police officers. The police officers are standing in their uniforms and maybe protecting some other citizens from harm. However in this picture, it appears that the officers have weapons in their hands. It appears that the officers are ready for any type of disturbance coming from the civilians standing across from them. It could be read as the officers are not only protecting something or other citizens who are not standing in front of them, but are ready to protect themselves as well from the civilians shown in the picture.

The civilians on the other hand looking onward towards the officers are also shown as strong, and upset about something. They are holding up their hands. Two hands in the air, is a symbolism of “hands in the air don’t shoot” , meaning the person is surrendering, a message to the police. (in the picture) One Hand in the air, holding a knotted fist. This symbolizes freedom, black lives matter.

Another portrayal that speaks of this picture, are the civilians. They are all ages, from different walk of life. They are from multiple races and all genders all in one place looking to spread their message. In the picture there also is an indication of a recent event with the wearing of the masks. Could indicate the protection of the infectious disease COVID-19. Wherever, these groups of people are moving to the police are standing as the barrier.

With all the differences pointed out from this picture, Hall mentions how one can pull out multiple meanings from an image. He says there is no need on making up a fixed meaning. Rather it is best to ask oneself a set of questions as to what the preferred message could be. This is exactly what I had experienced when breaking down this photo. I asked a set of questions. However, the bigger message in this picture is the people are not being protected and these civilians are out in public, making what is happening in this picture a societal issue, which has joined many groups of people together for the cause….. The cause for police brutality to stop. A cause for young people of color, especially the Black male to stop being targets of White male officers, and for all lives to matter. Everyone may get a different meaning. What’s yours?


Hall,Stuart ( )”Spectacle of the other”. Representation: cultural representations and signifying practices

Published by Alexandria Mackell

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