The 12th Invest in ME Conference, Part 1
OverTheHills presents the first article in a series of three about the recent 12th Invest In ME international Conference (IIMEC12) in London.
Discuss the article on the Forums.

#MEAction Compiling New ME/CFS Stock Photos and Videos For Media

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS News' started by Never Give Up, Jun 23, 2015.

  1. Never Give Up

    Never Give Up Collecting improvements, until there's a cure.

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    Here's what they say:

    Tired of reading news about ME and seeing images of people slumped at their desks or yawning?

    Submit your REAL photo to the flickr group. Help us create a pool of stock photos that authentically portray the experience of living with ME. The photos will be made available to newspapers and magazines.

    http://www.meaction.net/2015/04/12/retire-this-stock-photo/
     
    Art Vandelay, Simon, Effi and 4 others like this.
  2. Never Give Up

    Never Give Up Collecting improvements, until there's a cure.

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    Wow! Check out the last photo called Fading Girl!
     
  3. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    I can't see any photos - just that yawning guy. Where are they?
     
  4. Never Give Up

    Never Give Up Collecting improvements, until there's a cure.

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    Click on the box that says "Submit Your Stock Photos!"
     
    Sasha likes this.
  5. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    Thanks! Yes, I like the concept of 'fading girl'.
     
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  6. Effi

    Effi Senior Member

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    @Never Give Up I was just thinking about this yesterday as I was looking up some random articles on ME. Every single picture was a person yawning, fallen asleep head on keyboard, sleeping with their head against the wall. All while perfectly manicured and coiffed, in business attire. o_O

    The new pictures are so much better and so much closer to reality! Love this initiative!
     
    Never Give Up and Valentijn like this.
  7. eafw

    eafw Senior Member

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    I don't know how much the sort of pictures they're collecting in this project will help us.

    Can we not be represented the way other serious chronic diseases are - eg MS/HIV have images of brain scans, virus particles, laboratory equipment ?

    Sometimes an everyday image (food if talking about diet) and occassionally (that is sometimes this might be warranted) someone looking really ill with tubes coming out of them, but I wouldn't like this to be the main way the illness is shown in the press.

    Globally changing "yawning executive" to someone flopping about looking dramatic is just replacing one stereotype with another, I don't know that it will really further our cause for the bio-med basis and the need for more research and better treatment to be taken seriously.
     
  8. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    Some of them are clearly inappropriate (more appropriate for art exhibitions and would be baffling out of context) - and if people are sending in photos of themselves, a lot aren't going to be photographed suitably for media use (bad lighting, poor composition, unattractive clutter in the background, etc.) - no criticism of the PWME doing them but if we're going to have photos of PWME (or models representing them) I think this is a job for a professional. If it's not professional-level photography in the normal style of stock photography, it's not going to be used.

    I'm sorry if I'm sounding critical but we're trying to solve a problem and it's important that we get appropriate images.

    Actually, that's a great idea - but, having just looked at a few articles on MS, it seems to be only the science-focused articles that must be getting those sorts of images. The patient-centred ones get photos of the particular patients being looked at. It would be interesting to do a proper comparative survey (there's a nice little research paper for someone that could get into the media!).

    I think it would help change the narrative from 'trivial fatigue and sleepiness like we all feel at work' to 'serious disease'.
     
  9. eafw

    eafw Senior Member

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    From my not very proper comparisons, the research and general news articles seem to have a mix of science and "neutral" images with individual photos as you say for specific patients. This is a good balance, which would be fine if that's what we had for ME, but what we're actually up against is the way the media write about us - especially in the UK - so that even on the news and science articles they go straight for "person being a bit useless" to illustrate their point. Hence, "people being a bit useless but in a different way" won't fix this.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2015
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  10. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    I think that this is just one strand of several that will fix the problem - and the main strand will be growing recognition of the bioscience.
     
    Never Give Up likes this.
  11. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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  12. Valentijn

    Valentijn Senior Member

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    I can see the articles and photos in the Netherlands.
     
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  13. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    Thanks!

    Anyone in the US? Canada? Oz?
     
  14. Nielk

    Nielk

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    Sasha likes this.
  15. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    Thanks! Looking promising...
     
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  16. mfairma

    mfairma Senior Member

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    I am also skeptical of the value of this collection for reasons mentioned above, but I think the group holds greater value for exploring the question of how to tell the story of ME through photography in ways that outsiders can grasp. To that purpose, I liked a number of the photos in the group, particularly A Fading Girl.

    On that subject, I spent a couple weeks a few years back toying with using camera obscura -- see Abelardo Morell's amazing 2011 feature in National Geographic -- to explore the lives of sick patients locked in darkened bedrooms as the world passes them by. It became clear pretty quickly that I wasn't going to get the results I hoped for, but I still think a couple of the pictures are interesting.

    https://www.flickr.com/gp/133947709@N05/Kw1N16
     
    Sasha likes this.

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