Capturing Truth or Manufacturing Realities: An Examination of the Evolution of our Relationship with Information
and Representation in Modern Media


Digital printing

Text & Design: Sean Charlton White
Royal Academy of Art The Hague BA Thesis

This research paper explores the relationship between photography, media and the concept of reality.
It examines how photography can be used as a tool for social change, and how it has historically shaped collective realities. The first part of it presents histori- cal examples of photographically led social changes by individuals, mass media or state propaganda. Shedding light on the complex ways in which photography has been utilised to alter societal perceptions and create new realities. This paper then explores various philosophical notions related to the concept of reality and photogra- phy’s ability to capture and construct it while advocating that what we have come to call the ‘Post-Truth era’ is more of a new found awareness than shift. It then explores how images makers relate to the subject. In the conclusion, the thesis attempts to come to terms with the dawn of a new relationship between information and society, driven by technological progress such as AI. It discusses the impor- tance of media literacy, critical thinking, and empathy in navigating these changes.