The Oscars and the illusion of perfect representation

Images can falsify as well as depict reality, mislead as well as inspire

A distinguishing feature of today's politics in the United States is that they seem to turn as much on struggles over representations as they do over material resources or tangible political power.

For many people who are active in politics, especially on the left, a primary issue is how and by whom members of marginalised groups are depicted in film, television, social media and art. It strikes me that there is exponentially more public discussion of such matters than, for example, education policy.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 27, 2019, with the headline 'The Oscars and the illusion of perfect representation'. Print Edition | Subscribe