A picture that poses a thousand guesses

From the hundreds of photos taken at the Group of Seven summit in Quebec City, one stood out after it was published last Saturday and ricocheted around the Internet for its surreal composition. In the photo, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, both hand
PHOTO: REUTERS

From the hundreds of photos taken at the Group of Seven summit in Quebec City, one stood out after it was published last Saturday and ricocheted around the Internet for its surreal composition. In the photo, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, both hands pressed firmly on a table, and with as neutral an expression as possible, stares directly at United States President Donald Trump. But Mr Trump stares blankly ahead. Is he angry? Bored? Amused? No one knows. Surrounding Dr Merkel and Mr Trump are other leaders and officials, each with an unplaceable gaze. The photo first appeared on Dr Merkel's official Instagram account at around noon the same day. It was a far cry from the official photos the White House had released, which were mostly posed pictures or those depicting Mr Trump in a serious, commanding light. The disparity prompted some to wonder: Was Dr Merkel - or someone on her staff - trolling the US President?

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 11, 2018, with the headline 'A picture that poses a thousand guesses'. Print Edition | Subscribe