Updated: Jan 7, 2021
Is there such a thing as an innocent photograph? In my opinion, there is no unequivocal answer that would satisfy all.
Photography is a closed world created by a photographer; a creature. This world born of someone's need is always the answer to some desire. Even if the creator's intentions were pure, he soon loses control over his work.
Suppose you and I are righteous and our consciences are clear. Can we take responsibility for others? Can we trust them? What value systems do they represent?
And if we don't trust them, isn't our lack of trust sufficient evidence of demons in our minds?
Let's look at the photo of a young Alice Liddell, photographed by the famous Lewis Carroll.
Does the photograph of an innocent child really express something more than just a desire to perpetuate the passing time? Is the pose as "The Beggar-Maid" (Getty Images) in which the girl is leaning against the wall with her hand resting on her hip and slightly tilted head not provocative at all, as our imagination may suggest? Doesn't her dress reveal too much? Is it only the dark side of our personality that distorts our interpretation? After all, "during the 'photoshoots' the parents or guardians of the children were always present and the author did not exert any pressure on them and never pressed any of the girls to pose without clothes" (Miniewicz, 2017). And although this last sentence does not quite turn out to be true, the photo of Alice can still be purchased for £ 375 in decent resolution on the Getty Images website.
Fig 1 Caroll L (1858) No title [Online] Available at: https://news.artnet.com/art-world/was-lewis-carroll-a-pedophile-his-photographs-suggest-so-237222 (Accessed: 01 December 2020).
Getty Images (no date) Available at: https://www.gettyimages.ch/detail/nachrichtenfoto/alice-liddell-the-inspiration-for-lewis-carrolls-nachrichtenfoto/3326160?language=fr (Accessed: 01 December 2020).
Miniewicz, S (2017) Kontrowersyjny zyciorys Lewisa Carolla. Kim byl naprawde autor "Alicji w Krainie Czarow" Available at: https://ksiazki.wp.pl/kontrowersyjny-zyciorys-lewisa-carrolla-6145579099416193g/1 (Accessed: 01 December 2020).