Each February, the White House News Photographers Association has a photo contest.
This year, Washington Post photographer Jabin Botsford won the Still Contest for his shot of Barron Trump during the Jan. 20 inauguration, reports the website Reading The Pictures.
The photo, entitled “BARRON,” features President Trump’s son staring out the window of the motorcade limosine, as a soldier salutes the car while it makes its way down Pennsylvania Avenue on Inauguration Day. Donald Trump is also seen in the back seat, giving the “thumbs up” signal.
The image is examined by photography critic Michael Shaw, editor of ReadingThePictures.
“Given the media blackout on children of the president, how far can we go in analyzing this now acclaimed piece of journalism?” he asks. “To what extent is it respectful (or safe) to tease out the meaning, power and symbolism of the prized scene?”
Shaw then proceeds to tease out some meaning: “On one level, of course, the face in the front window could belong to anyone. As a visual counter to Trump’s ‘thumbs up,’ the child’s expression could be seen to represent the alienation, the horror even, so many people feel over Trump’s election. Call it a ‘silent scream.’”
He goes on to question “whether Barron is all right.” It is a question that previously stirred controversy when Saturday Night Live writer Katie Rich tweeted that “Barron will be this country’s first homeschool shooter” — referring to his apparent inability to pay attention during his father’s inauguration, reports the Daily Mail.
Rich was suspended for her remark, after which she atoned with the following tweet: “I sincerely apologize for the insensitive tweet. I deeply regret my actions and offensive words. It was inexcusable & I’m so sorry.”
Shaw concludes his critique with a psychological flourish. “Exhibited side-by-side, the expressions and behaviors of Donald and Barron being highly compelling while thoroughly disconnected, the photo literally frames the question of how father and son relate, and how the behavior of one informs the other.”
Sources: Reading The Pictures, Daily Mail / Photo Credit: Jabin Botsford via Reading The Pictures