National Protests Against Water Charges: The power of Image in a Media Saturated Public

water_charges_march_sat_oct11_photo2_right2water on 13th Oct. 2014

It’s all about location, location, location. The above image appeared on Indy Media Ireland to document the recent National Protests Agienst Water Charges on Sat. 11 Oct. 2014, at the GPO (General Post Office), Dublin, Ireland.

The image has quickly resonated through Social Media, because it not   only documents an event through photograph but it presents an image that is socially and culturally descriptive.

ard-fheis-protest-5813-copy-630x372 on 13th Oct. 2014

Let’s rewind back to the March protests outside Fine Gael’s Ard Fheis. The following image (by Photocall Irelands Laura Hutton), was used to document the crowd size (which she did so successfully). However, when the image is presented by media activists as a social diagram, it becomes confusing. It’s confusing because the building taking up most of the image has no relevance to the event, let alone the peoples  agenda.

Although the Protests began at Dublin’s Liberty Hall, a relevant demonstration space (dating back to the 1913 Lockout), the media based activists missed the opportunity to embed the image of the protest in its context.

This week, however, we have been greeted with images of Saturdays protests outside Dublins GPO. The reason for GPO’s relevance as a public demonstration space is because since it was used as the HQ of the 1916 Uprising leaders it has since been a symbol of Irish Nationalism. Now we are approaching the 100 year anniversary of the Rising, its Social & Cultural relevance has never been stronger.


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