Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Seven Day Photo Challenge

This week I have decided to take on the photo a day challenge, but also to make it fit in with education.  With that in mind I will be posting a photo a day, for seven days, that fits with the theme of the Cold War.  Each image that I post, will relate to the cold war in some way that I will explain with the commentary associated with each picture.  I hope this inspires you to take up your own challenge, or make it an assignment for your class.
While a picture of a birthday party, I choose to make this my first photo in my cold war series because it represents the United States and the Soviet Union at the end of World War 2 in Europe.  Hitler was dead, and what would emerge as the two superpowers of the world where not fighting but instead celebrating the start of what they thought would be a long lasting peace.  As the nations distanced themselves from this joyous moment the memories of the meeting at the Elbe River in Germany, they were left to deal with a world in which both nations could destroy the other with nuclear weapons. 

For my second image I took a picture of a cement wall with a see through railing on top.  This image was selected because it symbolizes two things.  One it shows the way that the two superpowers dealt with each other despite the good will they all felt at the end of the Second World War.  The other is for the obvious connection with the Berlin Wall and the way that this problem clearly illustrated the new relationship between the nations.  We can see what the other side is doing on the surface, but the vast majority of what each side was doing is hidden from view.
This image of a broken gutter shows how the talks between the two nations are broken which will lead to turmoil and global problems throughout the coming decades.  A simple fix is all that is required to make this system work again, but because of circumstances nothing is getting fixed.  It is a similar situation with the two superpowers at this time, both sides know the situation is broken yet neither is willing to make the simple change to fix the issue.  Countless lives could have been saved if either side was willing to make a concession or stop being so prideful.
This image of a tree laying on its side shows the height of the Cold War and the turmoil and damage that it caused.  While the image itself does not depict damage, the possibility is there.  From the Cuban Missile Crisis to the Vietnam War, the superpowers fought each other through third parties.  The tree was a casualty because of its poor root system, which could not stand up to the wind that came through.  Just as the third world nations of the world fell to the influence of America or the Soviet Union.  As each nation fell, the destruction they created was locally terrible, but made little impact elsewhere.  During the Cold War, when the superpowers flexed their muscles, it was the small powers that suffered as shown in this image.
Despite the turmoil that was created through the military actions of the Cold War, the superpowers did talk.  This image, which shows a group of my students sitting around and talking, illustrates the attempts that were made by both sides to avoid a nuclear war.  These talks could represent a number of different occasions throughout the Cold War, but I will say this is representing the SALT talks of the late 60’s and early 70’s.  It was during these discussions that the true horrors of a nuclear war were discussed and actions were put into place to limit the arsenals of the two superpowers.
As the nations entered the 80’s the vitriol and animosity of the earlier years was fading away as the two nations faced a new political world.  This image of melting ice cubes shows how the cold war tension was thawing out as the Soviet Union started to collapse.  Though the Cold War enemy of communism was no longer the ever present threat hanging over the heads of America, the nation’s still kept their individual identities as shown in the picture.

This final image of my week long photo challenge is of the American flag blowing in the wind with a grey stormy background.  While America emerged from the Cold War as the lone super power the world around America is anything but sunny and peaceful.  In today’s world the threat is not from the one nation over there, but instead from the random organization or person.  While America stands strong it is aware that at any time one person could bring the nations to its knees, just as one person can lower this flag.

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