Digital Archives: Interior and Cultural

This photograph speaks to the layered culture of the square that I spoke about in my first essay. While I originally focused on the layers of the square in an international and domestic sense, this photo shows the the inner layer of the park as a defensive or offensive sense, depending on how one looks at it. The cannons, all facing outwardly, protect the centerpiece of the park, seeing as a physical and metaphorical barrier to the statue. While layered dimension of the park only contains two layers, the placement of the figures certainly follows the layered theme of the park.

 

This photograph depicts a homeless woman along with her cart of belongings, seemingly sleeping in Lafayette Square, just a few yards from the White House and National Mall. This image, initially, did not strike me as very different from other public outdoor squares or parks in Washington DC. While parks are not explicitly placed for the use of the homeless, they are often found setting up camp in such locations. The proximity of this area to the White House and such highly esteemed landmarks makes the presence of a homeless person stand out. In my writing, I can use this when I talk about the layered aspect of the Square with its surroundings.

 

This photograph does a good job of depicting probably the most typically seen type of person in Lafayette Square. While it is not abnormal to see a local walking through the park, or a homeless man or woman sleeping or sitting on a bench, the majority of those found in Lafayette Square are tourists. These tourists make up a large portion of the Squares guests, often either on tours or simply stopping to take a photograph. The type of person seen in the square provide a solid image of the culture of the park, it being a destination and national landmark.

 

This photograph shows two signs help up on the perimeter of the park, serving as a sign of protest. What this photograph says about the park is not simply that it is a space in which people are permitted to state their political opinion, but it is a place of symbolism, in which this statement is more powerful. The placement of the Square, directly in front of the White House, allows for political discourse in an impactful, symbolic way.

 

While this photograph appears to be just another image of the White House, it is actually a photograph taken from the grounds of Lafayette Square. This photograph shows the view of the White House one would have while standing in Lafayette Square. The image gives the White House the sense that it looms over the Square as a greater presence just outside its perimeter. This affects the feel of the Square, making it more of a piece of the White House and National Mall than its own, separate, grounds.  

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