Photography uses light to visually capture a single moment in time the exact instant it occurred, making it a medium connected to the theme of the present. In addition, whereas individuals will focus on different details when viewing a scene with the naked eye, photography narrows our gaze to only what the photographer sees and chooses to capture, yet allowing us to still use our own perspective to interpret the image’s meaning.
Susan Williams’ photographs share with us the realities of western cultural influence through the portrayal of people in Papua New Guinea. Her photographs are relevant because they not only show us the way Papua New Guineans live, but also the important contemporary issues of globalization, the Third World, poverty, and the universal images of childhood. At the same time, her photographs are vibrant–full of life and color–and striking in subject matter, making them both interesting to view and to ponder.