July 9, 2008
The Zen Of Midgets
The Japan G-8 summit photos offer a stunningly incongruous portrait of politics and nature.
One way to read the group shot involves the miniscule leadership displayed by world leaders just at the point the environment and climate change has moved to the forefront of the world agenda. To appreciate the larger tension in the photo, also consider that the leaders are actually sandwiched between the rock garden and Toyaka’s massive Windsor hotel, this resort emblematic of the highest levels of consumption and wealth. (And, also notice how all of the male leaders except one thought to wear black this day.)
Similar to the first image, it is ironic to the point of blasphemy to see “W” — someone so profoundly out of touch and detached from any true rhythm — in such a blissfully meditative setting.
(image 1: Jim Young/Retuers. July 2008. Hokkaido Toyako Summit, Northern Japan. (L to R) IEA head Nobuo Tanaka, IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Brazilian President Luis Inacio Lula Da Silva, South African President Thabo Mbeki, Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, U.S. President George W. Bush, Chinese President Hu Jintao, Mexican President Felipe Calderon, South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, World Bank President Robert Zoellick and OECD Secretary-General Jose Angel Gurria Trevino. image 2: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images.)