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Photography as a tool of manipulation

Mstyslav Chernov is the president of the Ukrainian Association of Professional Photographers (UAPP) and an international journalist for the American news agency, Associated Press. Drawing on his own experiences and materials from his colleagues, he spoke about the manipulation of meanings when preparing news broadcasts.

"Photography doesn't exist in isolation – it's always connected to text, captions, and other images. Even in a gallery, we don't perceive a single photo detached from the others. This is the classic Kuleshov effect, where the first frame affects the perception of the next. Many countries use photography for propaganda. Nowadays, publishing images isn't a power held by the state, but a new issue has emerged – the uncontrollable amount of content. There's an assumption that war is not profitable for anyone currently, but staging wars is. This issue concerns me. There's nothing wrong with the absence of real wars, with only their images existing. However, using documentary images, a convenient reality is constructed. And that's just one layer of manipulation. Then there's the personal perception of the reporter – his fatigue or political views... We believe in narratives, not facts."

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