Intersection of Biography and History





Intersection of Biography and History

In his book, “What Matters”, talks about how various photographers portray different pictures of different people, in different places, and how they tell their stories an the issues they are going through. Some are happy, going about their daily lives and engaging in activities such as shopping while others are in a war torn country, wallowing in poverty and disease. One look at the photographs and one may easily assume that these people are undergoing personal issues, yet, these issues are not personal, but deeply rooted in society, and we are all affected one way or another. For instance, in the photograph by journalist Lauren Greenfield, there is a vivid representation of an upscale culture, which is historically representative of the bourgeoisie social class, a phenomenon by Marx. This contrasts with a photograph of child laborers in Bangladesh, a result of oppression and lack of freedom, which has been perpetuated by poor governance and leadership in the country.

From the book, it becomes easier to explain some of the issues affecting us today, which may seem individual but are indeed global. Take for instance, a disease such as cancer. The disease is killing thousands of people today, and is lifestyle related. One hundred years ago, cancer was not as rampant and common as it is now, but with the abandonment of organic foods and other unhealthy lifestyles, it has taken its toll on people. An individual suffering from cancer may be pitied by people around, assuming it is a personal problem, but essentially, it is a global problem affecting everyone, directly or indirectly. A historical overview of the development of cancer in our societies as a global problem clearly demonstrates the intersection between biography and history.

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