What a picture – By Yilma Bekele

April 3rd, 2009 Print Print Email Email

When they said ‘a picture speaks a thousand words’ they could have been thinking about this one. The setting definitely is a reception. (more…)

When they said ‘a picture speaks a thousand words’ they could have been thinking about this one. The setting definitely is a reception. The people sitting around the table appear very important since there appear to be as many servers as guests. In addition to this we see many photographers documenting the event. It is difficult to determine if this is the beginning or the end of the event. Whatever it is, it is a very lavish and formal affair.

A person sitting right around the center is the only one wearing some kind of head covering, which would lead us to assume that he is from the Middle East. Further down you can see the lone woman. Other than that, it is a mainly a men’s affair. One can also assume that it is a formal event since the men are wearing dark suits. The majority of them seem to be white.

Let’s examine the person on the bottom left. He seems lonely, left out, or sad? He is definitely brooding about something. If you look around, you will notice that those in front of him as well as those on his right are engaged in deep conversation. The man on his left has given him his shoulder.

Who is he? What is he doing here? How come he is not engaged with anyone? Why is everyone ignoring him? If they did not want him there, why was he invited?

He definitely does not appear comfortable. You can tell that from his stiff shoulders and his general posture. His hands are clasped in a prayer position. He is probably not praying, but he is definitely in deep thought. It is difficult to tell how long he has been sitting ignored and isolated. Why didn’t the host find him a partner? He is not smiling, and his somber look conveys he is not enjoying the moment.

Why is he there if he is not comfortable; and why was he invited if he is not part of the group? Could there have been some mix up? Could he have been drafted at the last moment? Was he warned about the cold shoulder he might encounter? Did he send a scouting party to assess the situation? Did they lie to him to embarrass him? Was this calculated risk that blew up in his face? Could it be that he is not able to engage with the others as an equal?

It does not look like a good situation for our friend sitting in the bottom left. It can be considered a form of psychological torture to invite someone to such a dinner and ignore him. At the same time, it is not a good idea to crash a party where one is not welcome. Maybe our friend is praying for the party to be over. Maybe there is nothing here. Yeah right the picture is lying.

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