Objectivity versus Subjectivity

“The issue, finally, becomes one of judgement, and thereby a subject matter: an opinion of someone whose mind has taken in all that information, that documentation, and then given it the shape of sentences, of words used, with all their suggestive possibilities.” (Page 21)

In particular, this quote stood out to me as it related to documentary work. One of the primary ways in which documentary work can become biased is through our own personal judgement on those we document. Due to the difficulty of being purely impartial, it is only right that documentarians try to be aware of their subjectivity. The way in which others present their story should be translated as accurately as possible because it is likely our own opinions, personal lives, and backgrounds may alter it; giving their words “suggestive possibilities”. Documentary work is constantly battling between judgement and objectivity.

Walker Evans, profile, hand up to face

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.