Social Conformity

CS2006: Louis Rivers Lukamto U1431094B

Material 1: The Man Who Did Not Salute to Hitler

Note: He is the man towards the right of the centre of the image.

Historical Perspective: Germany, 1936. Mr. August Landmesser, who was initially a Nazi supporter, stood his ground against their ideologies because he married a Jewish woman. They were both killed.

The Nazi salute was mandatory. This photograph was never published until 1991 — probably to avoid motivation for oppositional uprising. The irony is, the photograph was likely taken for propaganda purposes.

The image stood the test of time, because of the message it sent.

Cultural Perspective: The salute during the Nazi era was a symbol of obedience to Hitler. His refusal is shown in folded arms, indexically signifying defiance by restraint.

The image today, is a powerful metonymy of Germans who fought Nazi conformity — it is an inspiration for those who feel that their voices are too soft. It had the power to fight the myth that all World War 2 — era Germans were supporters of the Nazi regime.

Application: From this photograph, I can learn to create visual distinctions of my subjects to portray anti-conformity with Gestalt’s similarity/dissimilarity in my pictures/videos.

It has taught me the visual power of a single person when contrasted with a group. It also speaks the benefits of non-conformance: the ability of the human mind to express its individual voice.

Photo Source:

Material 2: How Will You Change the World? — TV Advertisement

Technical Perspective: Costumes and props in the first scene’s mis-en-scene distinguishes the less ‘feminine’ girl (the main character), by Gestalt’s proximity and similarity from use of contrasting colours.

The story was able to be told in a minute, because the sequences retained the main character’s turquoise-coloured garment throughout the timeline to maintain narrative unity.

It used interesting transitions. The match cut on graphic/action on picking up of the basketball and egg maintained the inspired emotions the character had when witnessing the basketball player, and quickened the narrative.

Cultural Perspective: Shell had sought to break the stereotype that women cannot excel in the realm of sciences that is normally dominated and associated to men in the USA.

The video maintains this contrast by using practical stereotypes with pink-coloured clothes and Barbie-like dolls to symbolically signify females and blue clothes and mechanical objects to signify the opposite.

Application: I would like to adopt the same variety of shot angles, sizes and movement to keep my viewers entertained, and apply similar signs of social conformity eg. Make-up, grey-coloured costumes.

Even though the video is not exactly social conformity, the plot relates to the video that we wish to produce; a story of self-discovery from the point-of-view of a girl.