Trump, Merkel, Macron: the G7 photos worth a thousand words | Hannah Jane Parkinson | Tech News
They say a picture is worth a thousand words – which, obviously, as a writer, I am going to disagree with. No butcher is going to extol the virtues of a veggie burger, after all. But some photographs are pretty special.
Take the photo Angela Merkel released of the G7 leaders’ meeting this past weekend. It has been compared online to a Renaissance painting, which begs the question whether anybody on Twitter has actually seen any Renaissance art. It more recalls a stock photo with the file name “AGMtenseboardroom.jpg”.
But, rather brilliantly, each leader’s office released photographs literally from different angles – there’s an AS-level government and politics answer that’s writing itself – with the following results. Let’s break them all down.
Angela Merkel’s photo
The original. There’s so much in this image it’s difficult to know where to begin. Donald Trump, as well as Japan’s Shinzo Abe, cross their arms. Therapists often tell you this is very defensive body language, but actually most of the time I think people are just cold. In Trump’s case, though, it definitely is defensiveness, because he is always defensive, because he is as thin-skinned as a fontanelle.
There’s John Bolton, the national security adviser and a man who looks so much like the Lorax from the Dr Seuss books that it continues to amaze me that: a) people don’t point this out on a daily basis, and b) that a copyright infringement hasn’t been filed.
Theresa May, unsurprisingly given the state of Brexit negotiations, is barely in the frame. We’ve screwed it, lads.
Emmanuel Macron’s photo
Emmanuel Macron’s effort is a weird one, because it looks like the backstage photo pop stars take at gigs where they all say grace together and hope for a successful show. The G7 communique wasn’t a successful show, however, given that Trump reneged on the whole thing via tweet (of course) soon after leaving. And then accused Justin Trudeau of “stabbing him in the back”, which would have been difficult, given that Trump was sitting down for the entire thing. Interestingly, Merkel is almost completely obscured in this version, which makes sense vis-a-vis Macron jostling for lead position on the European stage. Brigitte’s probably at home sending him an email to “be your stubborn best”. But we all know Merkel’s where it’s at.
Donald Trump’s photo
Trump is so stupid that the image he released could not show him in a worse light. In fact it barely shows him in any light. Encircled by the other leaders and aides, known as sherpas, Trump couldn’t look more cornered and out of his depth. Half of the circle are openly laughing – look at Trudeau; the man to his left; and the woman in blue, for instance, while the others are throwing such intense side-eye they might as well be hammerhead sharks. It almost looks as if he is sinking into an abyss, but it’s not wise to vocalise one’s wishes in case they don’t come true.
Justin Trudeau’s photo
Naturally, in Trudeau’s official photographer’s pic, he looks like a fit Jesus, preaching to his disciples. He’s so chivalrous he has even pulled a chair out for someone who doesn’t exist. He looks impressive, of course, with his tousled hair and cheekbones – even though there is apparently a global conspiracy to never mention the fact he awkwardly talks out of the side of his mouth.
What’s great about this particular picture is that John Bolton has clean lost interest and is now reading a book. The Lorax, obviously. (Even though that book was a tale of environmentalism and the Trump administration is intent on destroying the entire planet.)
Merkel, too, seems to have checked out in this photo, pondering what to have for tea later, while Trump looks like someone’s who been sitting at home waiting for a washing machine to arrive for the past four hours, despite the courier texting it’d come between 9-10am.
Macron appears to be talking across Theresa May which, once again: Brexit.
Giuseppe Conte’s photo
Giuseppe Conte is the newbie of the group, having only been sworn in as Italy’s prime minister at the beginning of the month. And even then he was a compromise candidate, suspected to have embellished his CV (but haven’t we all made mistakes, eh Paul Nuttall?).
This photo is shambolic – like, one might say, the new Italian government. The resolution is so poor it looks as though it’s been taken with a Motorola Razr, circa 2007. The only things that draw the eye are the ubiquitous box-jackets of Merkel and May, a sartorial affliction that affects female politicians worldwide, as though they don’t believe they’re allowed to have a waist. If male politicians can wear the same thing every single day, women politicians should be able to wear a slimline blazer.
Shinzo Abe’s photo
Finally, we come to Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe’s photographic vibe. To Abe’s left is Yasutoshi Nishimura, the deputy chief cabinet secretary. He is clutching his pass as though nobody would know who he was otherwise. As if he doesn’t have the same status as Bolton’s moustache, which should have its own pass, quite frankly. Maybe a dressing room. A rider.
I absolutely cannot wait for the Kim Jong-un and Trump summit photos.
- Hannah Jane Parkinson writes on pop culture, music, tech, football, politics and mental health