RCL #7: The Power of Visuals
Many individuals, including myself, can be described as being “visual learners”; we tend to take in information more easily when presented via images or diagrams, as opposed to long blocks of text. This is not to say that we are unable to digest details through reading, especially when the descriptive language used is well-written, as is the case with Lynsey Addario’s memoir. However, while Addario has a clear talent for composition, as a professional photojournalist, it would be an absolute shame if she did not share some of her photography to compliment the stories she tells regardless of one’s learning style. Luckily, our author goes above and beyond on delivering this.
The two images that stood out to me the most included one in which a Libyan rebel is seen comforting an injured comrade (after page 82), as well as one in which a mother in Sierra Leone had just died during pregnancy (after page 210). What is noticeable in these pictures Addario took is that the emotions of the subjects in each are a central focus; the wounded soldier in the first shot is clearly shown to be in pain based on the look of his face, and the second photo makes sure to include the deceased mother’s loved ones in deep mourning. Through the conveyance of emotions in her photography, the author also manages to express a deeper message: she is aware that many of her readers have never been to the types of places she often travels to, and as such, the residents of such foreign lands can seem almost alien to us stuck in our bubbles, so she makes sure to capture their most sentimental moments, helping the audience view the foreigners as people just like them.
The uses of imagery, video, and multimedia are oftentimes crucial in telling a resonant story, and I myself have used these tactics when writing about my passions as Addario does musing on her photojournalism career. For example, in my most recent passion blog post, I aid readers in helping them understand the emotions I felt as my excitement for an upcoming video game continued to rise. Check it out here!