Began in 1888, published by the National Geographic Society
Typical early subjects were geology, meteorology, oceanography, and history of exploration
85% of the sales in the US
Strong emphasis on photography since the 60’s
The red shirt school of photography
Subjects wore overtly colourful clothes
The Shock Doctrine
The cover image is intentionally stereotypical
“ National Geographic's pictures, with rare exception, were all pretty much of the picture postcard type of idealistic beauty, rather than photojournalism”
The cover story breaks the imagery and the story created by it
It attempts to de-cultivate the world view the west holds
The cover makes for a captive audience, and the story shocks the people out of their opinions
tries to connect modern day photography with the ancient history of paintings.
painting of the Last Supper included in the cover involved Jesus blessing the bread and wine - serene scene.
the King James Version of Bible clearly says that The Last Supper was a night time feast however Leonardo set his stage during the day (Look outside the windows
Relation with the Story: This 1983 National Geographic article provides a brief history of Leonardo Da Vinci's Last Supper, discussing damages done to the painting over the last 500 years. The most recent attempts at restoration of the famous mural began in 1977 and have provided clues to the changes it has undergone and new insights on Leonardo's techniques. This most recent restoration effort was completed in 1999.
Context: The last Supper is a 15 th century mural painting created by Leonardo Da Vinci. It’s basically a picture about the scene of The Last Suppers which is considered the last meal taken by Jesus when Jesus announces that one of his twelve apostles would betray him.
Taj Mahal at the back - stereotype of showing Taj Mahal as India’s identity
the caps, moustache and skin color clearly gives a portrait of an Indian
the model of train used in the picture also tries to connect Indian Railways to its history of British Raj.
Relation with the story: From Pakistan’s Kyber pass to Bangladesh, author Paul Therox and photographer Steve McCurry travel a monumental rail system where every day 10 million passengers ride 10000 trains to experience India Railway which is a lifeline for such a populated nation.
Context: The railway was one of the greatest imperial achievements of the British raj, and now, a larger system than ever in a subcontinent divided into sovereign nations, it still has the powerful atmosphere of empire about it. Its one of the major contributing factors of India’s prosperity as a nation since last 130 years.
large eyes, striking fear and terror at the same time
iconic image, came to represent Afghanistan for a long time
depiction of the country as a woman
the state of the “refugee”
the fallen statue
man on the statue, sitting on the chest
the dual meaning of the colour red
the expression of anger and contempt
trying to brush away a past
taken at a time when there were military issues in Middle East
military balance of power after Persian Gulf war
peace talks & Madrid conference was going on
battuta: Denoting iconic Middle East
conservative, orthodox women
expression of fear in her eye
glance showing insecurity
timid, submissive, Arabian women
suffocated by military conflicts
the author spent nearly 3 months travelling with tribal group, Rabari
camel, desert indicate signify the Great Indian Desert, Rajasthan, the native place of Rabaris. Slowly spread across states, but remained themselves.
their endurance, smooth life, women being treated as equal, well-bonded as society– all signs that they are progressive
at first glance, would seem the stereotypical way of showing India
but, the cover story breaks the myth—it doesn’t evoke sympathy but respect & admiration for the Rabaris
“ A Broken Empire,”
“ Statue made of Stone; symbolic of unrelenting hardships, inflexibility of communism ”
Statue is of a soldier/General signifying someone in power, maybe an autocrat.
“ Scarred/burnt face signifying fighting in a long war and possibly a crusade for freedom”
The Red blindfold implicates the shortsightedness or even the blind nature of these nations when they opted for a communist regime.
“ Iranian women yet to taste liberation”
“ Steeped in Tradition and yet hesitantly embracing modernity. The absence of a burkha, the exposed hands, use of colours and yet the face is largely covered.
“ Fearlessness and eye contact despite having been previously inhibited”
“ Iranian flag depicted through the use of the red colour”
“ Traditional dress belies Iran’s claim for modernity through the use of the backdrop”
“ Special Millennium Issue,”
“ Celebrations of Earth and Beyond...,”
“ Life Beyond Earth,”
“ Rediscovering America,”
“ Tibet Embraces the New Year,”
“ Enigma of Beauty,” and “Light in the Deep.”
The stars on the background resemble a bonanza of glitter and diamonds, echoing the theme of Celebration
The typography of “National Geographic” gives the feeling of motion and also speed.
It seems as though the letters are moving away from us to something beyond. Now that can signify
The cover story: Exploring outer space.
The millennium issue: Anticipating the future and what lies beyond the 20 th century.
Taken after the US led invasion of Afghanistan, the photographer searched for the girl and found her in 2002
Covers the following:
FOUND: After 17 Years An Afghan Refugee’s Story
Yucatan Cities Ancient Maya ruins stud Mexico’s hill country.
Maya Mural Researchers uncover a unique Maya wall painting.
Muskoxen Hunted nearly to extinction for their meat and coats, the “bearded ones” again thrive in the Arctic.
The first picture was taken at the Nasir Bagh refugee camp in 1984 by photographer Steve McCurry and was the cover photograph of Nat Geo June,1985. It soon became “the most recognized photograph in the world”
Picture #1: The girl seemed tough, curious, perplexed, somewhat intimidated and defiant.
Picture #2: As a woman, she seems more hostile, ravaged, violated, humiliated, defensive yet resigned.
The essential colour palette of the Picture #1 is quite similar to colours of the Afghanistan flag (Red, Green and Black). In the second picture, the lady is clad is blue with faint traces of red in her scarf as well (American Flag???).
In the main cover photograph, the figure in blue, with lettering in bold red and white echo the American Flag colours.
The blue figure seems to encompass the lone photograph from all sides, and seems to represent the struggle of the defiant yet overpowered Afghan surrounded by American forces.
“ human-like” face, caveman
looking straight at the reader
disfigured face, penetrating look – searching for something
story - life and extinction
“ The Other Humans”: the other race, the “other” (inferior)
adornment with gold
The True cost of a Global Obsession: extent of obsession, covering up every inch
closed eyes, subtle smile: satisfaction
hands: artificial, crafted by humans
striking contrast between the face of gold and the human hands : reference to those who use it and those who mine it