Throughout history, imagery has been used to influence people to great extents. Thousands of years ago, stories were told that created images and visions in a person’s head. Drawings, paintings, sculptures, and other forms of art took it a step further and gave something more permanent to the world that allowed people to see an image and take from it what they will. Now, with cameras, camera phones, pictures, videos, and other forms of imagery, the way images are used have taken a dramatic change.
Images are used to influence people. We have seen this more so in the years of the media’s influence. Newspapers were used to create their own messages, and through the use of comics, and other pictures along with their articles, the public was easily influenced. Same with magazines, the cover of the magazines often have pictures along with some words on it that often preach a huge message or slander someone, all for the purpose of making sales and making money, or driving a message through.
Television and movies are some of the worst culprits of using images to drive home a message. Commercials between programs or before are ads, and people treat them as such. Now, they have to work extremely hard to create an enticing message for the viewers, and they do a pretty good job of it now. Car commercials, food, and beer ads all have the ability to create enticing and dramatic sequences that viewers are drawn to and cause them to buy.
Imagery is also frequently used to create ways of thinking for people. In particular, the political game has a strong understanding of using imagery to create ways of thinking for people. Political ads, politicians attire, articles, and the manipulation of the internet has a way of pushing a thought process through. This year in particular, memes took over the political race. Memes were used in large part with Donald Trump supporters that pushed forth messages that showed the negatives aspects of the Clinton’s and the Democratic party. Some images were manipulated, usually in an obvious way, but the most damning images were the ones that were not manipulated. In particular, an image that comes to mind is the one where she is being kissed by a KKK clansmen that shows he is a clansmen in the same combined image.
Images have been used for political reasons for a long time. In nearly every war that has taken place, imagery was a strong thing that provoked many emotions in people that caused them to react in a certain way.
When pictures of the Holocaust were seen for the world, that was the moment where much of the world realized the horrors that happened. The pictures that are in textbooks all over the world were actually chosen for a purpose. The pictures of the dead bodies that have been ingrained into all of our heads was done on purpose, and when associated with words, it can create a shock value that is hard to tear away from your mind. In school, we learned that “millions” of Jews were exterminated. When these words were placed next to pictures of piles of bodies in a pit, not too many people would ever have the guts to say anything to the contrary. Now although, that “millions” figure is likely greatly exaggerated (number accepted by trusted researchers and records pin the number closer to 270,000), the way that pictures were used to instill a way of thinking into the people’s minds practically every year of schooling since the age of 8, it made it seem as if pictures were evidence of this large death toll of people. Because people have seen pictures, and remains of death at the Holocaust, there are hardly any people who will say anything against what they have been told about the Holocaust, and it’s obviously an incredibly touchy subject.