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Central Bank
Central Bank
Source: Der Standard, 6 December 2002, p. 19 © APA-IMAGES/epa/Oliver Berg

Orginal Caption
"The ECB has reacted to the ongoing business recession with a clear drop in the interest rates."

Picture Analysis
Business pages suffer generally in the daily papers from a lack of pictures to illustrate those economic processes described in the articles. This example is not much different, but it does refer symbolically to the protagonist appearing in the news (the ECB) and to the currency affected by its actions (the euro). The prerequisites for the photo are of an urban nature: As if one had from the beginning anticipated in Frankfurt a future need that regularly insists that the common currency and the place in which the decision is made about its fate be put obviously into the picture. That the photo is only one example of many similar ones goes without saying.

The specific accessory which photography has added here to the urban ensemble is - along with the perspective - the capturing of the light: Twilight begins early in the pre-Christmas time and that is why most windows of the office buildings in the picture are still brightly lit. Natural and artificial light illuminate the subjects in a way that evens out their differences: Just as the euro sign is made more festive by the twelve stars so the ECB building seems more festive because of the euro sign in the foreground. Since light constitutes the specific message of the photograph, this neutralizes the applause that the article bestows on the "clear lowering of interest rates" by the European Central Bank.

© Demokratiezentrum Wien

About the Project

The Picture Atlas is an outcome of the project ICONCLASH. Collective Icons and Democratic Governance in Europe

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