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Building site Vienna

Original Caption
Building site Europe (Picture: Construction of the Mayday Grandstand in Vienna)

Picture Analysis

This building site motif appeared on 30 April 2004 on page 2 of the daily paper "Die Presse" under the rubric "Themen des Tages" (Topics of the Day). It illustrated the editorial article by Andreas Unterberger. The photograph is framed by three texts: The title of the article, "A Legacy Granted: Europe`s Light from the East", the subtitle, "The unification of Central Europe is a day of jubilation. The crisis-rocked Union is enriched", and the title under the picture, "Building Site Europe." (Picture: Construction of the Mayday Grandstand).

The caption under the picture places it in context - namely, the building site shown is a picture of the preparatory work for the celebrations of 1 May, Labour Day, which in the year 2004 were largely celebrations of EU-expansion. In the title and sub-title, the journalist`s position makes it clear that public opinion regarded the expansion of the European Union on 1 May 2004 as an occasion for celebration.

In the picture, three men are shown building the backdrop for the Mayday celebration, that is to say, the expansion celebration. The yellow stars on a blue background create as much of a backdrop as we can see so far, and they establish the European Union context. In combination with the partially completed script in which we can see the beginning of "1 May 2004" the viewer can readily grasp that the picture is connected with the expansion of the European Union. In the upper section of the picture a scaffolding is visible. Men are standing on it and fixing the backdrop to it. We can see that the scaffolding will soon be covered by the completed backdrop for the celebrations.

The chosen motif of building sites and the caption that equates Europe with a building site opens up the possibility of "reading" the picture in such a way that the process of building will soon be finished and after that something complete will be there; in the sense of the editorial, with this step, the enlargement process of EU-Europe is to be regarded (for the time being) as finished.

Source: Die Presse, 30 April 2004, p. 2 © APA-IMAGES/APA/G√ľnter Artinger

Keywords: Expansion of the European Union, Expansion of the E.U. to the East, European integration, European Union, Identity

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