UGANDA PRESS PHOTO AWARD
R. Canon Griffin
a Ugandan artist who avidly photographs, draws, paints, writes, and records video
He consistently publishes and shares via social networks as UrbanUnkindness. He holds art in the highest undeniable regard as the most unbridled way of sharing the experience and aspiration of our being. He is motivated by the mysteriousness of our presence, all the possibilities! He collaborates with Andrea Stultiens on a platform they founded in 201, called History In Progress Uganda (www.HIPUganda.org).
Politicians Eyes. Let Me Help You Lead You
By R. Canon Griffin
So, Democracy it is? Some have discouraged it all as a strange solemn charade, in a portmanteau – “DEMOCRAZY”.
There you are, your picture on a poster, with promises, slogans, and vows. You want to help me? Lead me? I look into what your eyes are and I see other hungers. They must be in both of us since I recognise them. However I will claim an owl position, of the uninvolved spectator, and will not so secretly shudder before the possibilities of worse pathological twists inside of us. Someone in loathing of the festivities of “democrazy” tears out your face or plucks out just your eyes, nothing attached, your POLITICIAN EYES! What’s in those eyes? The hungers? Obviously! But what else? Comedy? Submissiveness? Confusion and mixed desparations? I see my former middle school prefect. The one who was so vigilantly vindictive, punitive, he will never let any slight slide till the highest arousable administration is “chewing” his mark! I see the “passive” king, the guy who taxes the fights and watches them from a comfortable position of unsafe distance, provided for by the taxes.
Pictures don’t say any words. They show an image of something, images of things, and then you look at them and you generate the words. Unless you cycle through secondhand words to the pictures handed down by those who saw it before you. It could be a caption or various stories already told about the picture. Therefore, the context of these photos of pictures (election posters) is malleable. As malleable as it gets, one consistent thing in them is the confrontation with eyes. Before you know that they are politician eyes, they are eyes. With the ubiquity of photo retouching, “photoshopping”, add the limitations of photography or other drawing involved in making an election poster, the face you see isn’t even a face you ever meet. Thankfully, in this circus, some things are what they seem to be. Politician’s Eyes, with their blanket mandate: “Let Me Help You Lead You”. Behold.