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That thing you’re sitting on is a War Memorial

By nsn 29 August 2011 60

sitting on the memorial

Reading through the “In the City” magazine that came with today’s Canberra Times, I had to do a double-take at the photo on page 25, accompanying the article (by which I mean puff piece) about a Canberra woman who is the executive officer of UN Women Australia.

The photo shows that woman sitting on the ACT Memorial.

Which bright spark at Canberra CBD Ltd/In the City magazine decided that it would be suitable to have this woman pose, laughing and in a little black dress, on the memorial to Canberra’s veterans and war dead?

And you have to wonder if, for her part, this woman ever stopped to think about the kind of message that a photo of the executive director of UN Women Australia sitting on a war memorial would present for that UN agency.

[Photo source: Facebook]

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That thing you’re sitting on is a War Memorial
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Henry82 9:42 am 31 Aug 11

Skyring said :

We should see to it that women are appropriately covered and the cockatoos cease their disrespectful skylarking. It’s not as if there isn’t a plentiful supply of weaponry nearby for swift and effective enforcement..

I don’t think it’s a big ask to have a basic level of respect inside one part of the war memorial.

Skyring 8:53 am 31 Aug 11

Henry82 said :

The mobile talking in the tomb works me up as well. Just that area in general needs some enforcement, people yelling during the closing ceremony, kids splashing water in the fountain. “Sexual posing” for photos in the hall of memory shouldn’t be allowed either.

We should see to it that women are appropriately covered and the cockatoos cease their disrespectful skylarking. It’s not as if there isn’t a plentiful supply of weaponry nearby for swift and effective enforcement.

Look, people make mistakes, and I’m sure that the lady didn’t realise that she’d attract such a flock of squawks, by putting her bum on what looks like a cool seat for a Canberra photo.

Henson 2:14 am 31 Aug 11

“I would have thought (perhaps naively) something like that would have been on ANZAC Parade.”
HA! And mess up Walter Burley Griffin’s master plan? Goodluck.

Henry82 11:26 am 30 Aug 11

The mobile talking in the tomb works me up as well. Just that area in general needs some enforcement, people yelling during the closing ceremony, kids splashing water in the fountain. “Sexual posing” for photos in the hall of memory shouldn’t be allowed either.

Stevian 10:57 am 30 Aug 11

pominoz79 said :

Blimey she’s hardly got her legs spread or her cleavage out. Would it be better if she was dressed in a frumpy way, was ugly or overweight? Take away the unfortunate fact that it’s a memorial, this is a story of a young, attractive and successful career woman who is literally on top of the world. I know this is a public service town but come on people, lighten up! It’s no wonder Canberra has a reputation of being a boring public servant town. This story says “Hey, I’m living the dream and looking good doing it!”

There is such a thing as dignity. If she want to be taken seriously that photo is not helping

BimboGeek 10:55 am 30 Aug 11

Actually Executive Officer sounds a lot like “Chief Executive Officer” or “Executive Director” but lately I’ve noticed it can also mean “Secretary.” In which case her boss should have a little chat with her about using the UN name to land herself modelling gigs.

BimboGeek 10:52 am 30 Aug 11

I don’t mind this photo if it’s a fashion shoot.

If it’s a profile on a local feminist, why does it look like a fashion shoot and why do the comments say that it actually IS a fashion shoot and has identified all the clothes she’s wearing and how much they cost?

Local feminist changing the world and all they can think to do with her is sell shoes because she’s got nice legs?

Thumper 9:35 am 30 Aug 11

I find it far less offensive than the people who seem to think it is appropriate talking on their phones in the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

That really pisses me off. I mean, seriously, how hard is it to walk outside to make or take a call?

Postalgeek 9:27 am 30 Aug 11

If you put a subtle abstract sculpture in the middle of a pedestrian mall in Civic there’s no point getting too sensitive over it. I’m sure a lot worse is done to it every Friday night.

Besides, I suspect a couple of the fallen might even appreciate the addition of a leggy blonde on a regular basis.

Jethro 9:12 am 30 Aug 11

I find it far less offensive than the people who seem to think it is appropriate talking on their phones in the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

gooterz 12:19 am 30 Aug 11

creative_canberran said :

So I’m puzzled… extrapolating based on the angle the photographer is kneeling taking the photo from… um, how is an up-skirt shot of a woman sitting on a huge ball a good advertisement for UN Women?

Yeah thats what i was thinking.

The wire arms have an enterance on each side with a few words the last being Memorial written into them.

Found in this shot
http://hphotos-ash4.fbcdn.net/289005_241980369169840_209103465790864_745168_8028117_o.jpg

I have to say that a better photo was taken by some french looking tourists in the fountain in the the background. Both waist deep, topless and wet all over. Photo’s being taken by a 3rd person.

It was a bit before lunch time and sure did turn some heads.

creative_canberran 9:14 pm 29 Aug 11

So I’m puzzled… extrapolating based on the angle the photographer is kneeling taking the photo from… um, how is an up-skirt shot of a woman sitting on a huge ball a good advertisement for UN Women?

Speaking more generally though, the state of Canberra’s “social interest groups” is basically poor. Some genuinely have passionate people working hard on issues they care about. Many though just have people who are social climbers who care about networking and raising their own profile. This would fall into the latter.

rogerthat 7:17 pm 29 Aug 11

Ben_Dover said :

wooster said :

I think we should be doting on the disrespectfulness of creating a war memorial that looks like that 😐

+1

The ACT Memorial. I think its an impressive and quality piece of public art, which also has a specific purpose quite clearly identified on the plaques which adorn it and the inscriptions incorporated as part of it.

What should a ‘war memorial’ look like? A fabricated mix of guns & slouch hats?? Maybe, but this isn’t a war memorial, it’s a memorial to service of any kind during times of conflict. Its not solely about frontline troops or chopper pilots or Diggers or Vets, but anyone with an ACT association who served this country in times of conflict, in whatever capacity. That means it’s even dedicated to my Nanna who sewed parachutes when volunteering with Red Cross (so she told me).

I’d also hazard a guess that it’s not on Anzac Parade because its the ACT Government’s ACT Memorial, and Anzac Parade features Commonwealth monuments. However, with ACT Gov land being the location requirement perhaps Veteran’s Park would have been more appropriate.

xyro 7:16 pm 29 Aug 11

Brandi said :

Great legs.

+1

nanzan 6:08 pm 29 Aug 11

54-11 said :

I think you may be over-reacting just a tad, nsn.

I don’t think nsn has over-reacted necessarily – nsn has simply reacted…as is her or his right.

I think we have to separate out the article from the photograph. The article is fine…inspiring, educative and informative.

The photograph, however, is, at one level, using a woman perched on a memorial to those who have suffered and died in war, to sell a dress, shoes and a necklace. Even the prices for these items is provided.

I’ll repeat that…dollar values are given for merchandise in an advertisement that is intended, in part, to sell more dresses, shoes and necklaces…and the backdrop…the prop…for the advertisement, is the ACT’s memorial to those of its citizens who have served, suffered and died in war.

This piece of advertising, then, in that context, deserves to be critiqued. That is not necessarily an over-reaction. It might just be a response by some in the Canberra community to something not quite right, or appropriate, especially in a high-profile “magazine” inside a well-respected newspaper.

54-11 5:34 pm 29 Aug 11

I think you may be over-reacting just a tad, nsn.

Gungahlin Al 5:19 pm 29 Aug 11

You are often asked by photographers to do various poses that make you wonder. Sometimes it is a style thing that shows the quality of the photographer and their ability to interpret the shot’s role in portraying the story. A bit of a tip is when they actually ask you about the story.

But it is always up to you as “the talent” to manage the shot to make certain it will portray you correctly. It’s up to you to look around, behind, and generally understand how the shot will look. Sometimes photographers make it hard to say no about some idea, but it is your reputation, so “no” is always an option for you.

As said in #35, it is a good looking shot, but there are a number of aspects of it she should have been aware of.

pominoz79 5:14 pm 29 Aug 11

Blimey she’s hardly got her legs spread or her cleavage out. Would it be better if she was dressed in a frumpy way, was ugly or overweight? Take away the unfortunate fact that it’s a memorial, this is a story of a young, attractive and successful career woman who is literally on top of the world. I know this is a public service town but come on people, lighten up! It’s no wonder Canberra has a reputation of being a boring public servant town. This story says “Hey, I’m living the dream and looking good doing it!”

Erg0 4:56 pm 29 Aug 11

Calamity said :

Calamity said :

A sombre reminder that one should never imitate clip art 😉

http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-59588545/stock-photo-illustration-of-woman-sitting-on-top-of-the-world.html

Whoops.
*somber

I think you were right the first time, actually. Wiktionary lists somber as the US spelling.

Keijidosha 4:36 pm 29 Aug 11

pominoz79 said :

Ok so they probably should have researched the history of the “structure” before using it for a photo shoot but in fairness it doesn’t look like a memorial of any kind

The photographer was practically standing on one of the plaques that describes the memorial, and “ACT Memorial” + “www.memorial.act.gov.au” are engraved in giant text on either side of the site.

Although it is pretty difficult to justify ignorance as an excuse, I’m sure that an apology from those involved would go a long way towards making up for any wrongdoing. (The photographer and organiser have probably learned a bit about situational awareness!)

I’m curious about what rabble-rousing this stunt would have created had the scene incorporated the phallic owl rather than the memorial.

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