For this exercise we are asked to cut some pictures from a newspaper and re-write the captions. As I don’t buy newspapers I used the local news website for Manchester Evening News and screenshotted the images instead.
Aside from the spelling mistake in the caption on the website, the headline is more appropriate for the content of the image than the caption.
For my alternative caption I thought of; ‘Hottest summer on record sees sun seekers enjoying the local beautyspots’
This seemed a fairly typical style of headline for a newspaper to select for this exercise whilst also changing the context of the image completely. The original headline is admonishing the behaviour and using the image to highlight the number of people in close proximity during the current ongoing Covid-19 restrictions. Later on in the article you see an image of the waste left behind which would seem to be a more relevant image to lead with but is left to the final image in the article.
‘Living in abject poverty Salfordians teach their children to respect the oligarchy with home made Monopoly.’
I’ve always found it quite interesting that Monopoly is one of the most successful board games of all time yet it also represents the corrupt side of capitalism. Everyone revels in taking controls of the board and milking your competitors for their savings through mortgages loans and taxes, a game I remember playing with my Grandparents at a young age. It’s also ironic how Salford is amongst the highest percentage of poverty affected families in the country.
For this image I wrote the caption; ‘Hobbits living in misery after severe hardship caused in post Covid-19 economic crash’
I wrote this one as a more tongue in cheek reference to the apparent living quarters and wood setting whilst choosing to reference the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions and fears that the economy will experience its worst recession yet once the business support programs come to an end.
In changing these captions we can see how a small nugget of truth can be expanded to fit an entirely different agenda or meaning when presented with only one point of view. To create a caption which is outlandish in that it in no way reflects the image would raise questions whereas a subtle redirect would not.
We can turn offensive and disruptive behaviour into joyful fun and create empathy where none is to be attributed.
I believe it would be possible to create dozens of variants on the captions, from rewriting the originals to be more descriptive or accurate right through to how we see complete mis appropriation of images to event that are in no way related either in subject, location or time period.
Vesty, H. (2020a) Outrage as images shows over 50 people drinking and sunbathing in lockdown. At: https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/50-people-lockdown-gathering-trashed-18293383 (Accessed 27/05/2020).Vesty, H. (2020b) Salford’s very own version of Monopoly came out of lockdown boredom. At: https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/salford-monopoly-board-lockdown-boredom-18309199 (Accessed 27/05/2020).Vesty, H. (2020c) Wildfire raging through woods near Bolton ‘caused by youths with campfire’. At: https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/wildfire-youths-egerton-blaze-bolton-18319765 (Accessed 27/05/2020).