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HOW TO LIE WITH PICTURES

It's very EASY to lie with pictures. You control exactly what the audience sees, and if an elephant is in the way, you can easily crop the elephant out of the picture.


photo 1997 Jayne Williams

fig. 1


fig 2.

Here's the photo we showed you on the first page. We had a little problem, though. We didn't take pictures on the Hopi reservation because they ASKED us not to on signs all over the reservation. But we wanted you to see what a contemporary hogan looked like . We shot this outside (NW) of Tuba City.

So, we cropped out the stuff that detracted from the picture of a lonely hogan on a barren hill. Here's what the original photo showed. Quite a bit different isn't it? (Note the SelecTV dish on the blue house.)

It is easy to lie with photos. ESPECIALLY if you have an agenda to push.

Here are some examples from the SOL Communications website. Sol evidently
inherited the job of Big Mountain Publicity in 1999 from Media Island International in 
Washington State, who had been the "Big Mountain" PR coordinators 
to the end of 1998. Sol Com. is out of North Hollywood, California. 
Both are "green" activist media outlets.

from the SOL Communications website

"At Ataid Y. Lake's Hogan site, Peabody coal began bulldozing a burial ground. Ataid stopped them but not before a jaw and leg bone were unearthed. A couple of days later, Navajo Nation officials along with Office of Surface Mining officials arrived and inspected the area. The next day the bones disappeared without any notification to Ataid Y. Lake. So far the where abouts of the bones is unknown."

Hopi Ranger attempts to confiscate  Roberta Blackgoat's livestock. The newborn kid shown here suffered severely from the brutal treatment by BIA officers at the impoundment facility and had to be put to sleep three days after this incident. 

from the Sol Communications website. But THIS is the pictoral evidence! It COULD be an old coffee cup in a window box for all we know. Oh please! This is reporter Betty Reid of the ARIZONA REPUBLIC helping her mom out north of Tuba City. From a series by Ms. Reid on her cultural roots. The rest we made up.

There. Convinced that pictures can be made to say 
whatever you WANT them to say? 

Try this REAL one:

Resistance to impoundments is treated severely. Rena Babbitt Lane, who lost livestock in a confiscation on Monday, February 22, had her hand broken when she tried to stop a previous impoundment. Other people have experienced beatings or been arrested when they tried to resist confiscations in the past. But past confrontations took place in connection with minor issues such as access to grazing areas. The campaign now being launched is targeted at the permanent elimination of the herds and ultimately with the removal of the people, so that the level of tension and desperation has escalated. For the last four years, the police have been training in weapons and tactics which will be used in the eviction campaign over the next year.

 (from Robert Dorman's site. Dorman, a member of the Japanese Nichiren Shoshu "cult within a cult" SGI, is probably the top "activist" on the internet vis a vis Big Mountain, moderating a mailing list and endlessly updating his BM webpage.)

Let's move on.
Pick a topic. Any topic.

The Hopi Project Articles (so far)
0. The argument made VERY simply
1. Ancestral Lands
2. White Man's Justice
3. When is a Hopi NOT a Hopi?
4. How to lie with pictures
5. Who is Marsha Monastersky (and why is she saying all those terrible things about the Hopi)?
6. Using SCUDDER Bombs
7. (coming soon) U.N.couth
8. (coming soon) The Sheeps Also Rises

Other voices. Other ways of seeing.

Hopi links covering
all sorts of points of view.

last updated  24 February 2000


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