Semiotics and Marxism

orgreave-2

The photo above was taken during the Battle of Orgreave, which took place in the mid 1980’s in Orgreave Sheffield.

The first thing that strikes you is the line of police man with linked arms, in contrast to the one worker.

Police officers can be seen as the enforcers of the wealthy Bourgeoisie. The way in which their arms are linked re-enforces the line, making it more of a barrier. This in turn controls the direction in which the worker or proletarian must walk.

This is re-enforced even more by the lines on the floor outlining not only the direction in which to walk but also the allocated space they are allowed to walk. This could be seen as limiting the number of people in an area making them easier to control.

It is also evident that there are several rows of police which give the impression of force and dominance.

The way the worker is dressed in jeans, t-shirt and checked jacket looked casual, which contrast against the uniformed police. Typically in films the evil or bad characters are depicted in dark colours and the goodies or hero’s in the lighter brighter shades.

Though this picture is in black and white the definition is clear to see.

The stance of the worker is almost one of defiance, and slightly cocky with his hand in his pocket, a cigarette in his hand. He is also facing the police looking them square in the face.

The faces of the police vary depending where in the line they are, the ones furthest away from him in both directions are looking away, whilst the officers he’s just past appear to be sniggering at him, and looking him up and down.

On the whole this picture gives the impression of one agains the many, with the many asserting their power and control.

 

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