Free to Be Imprisoned


Three women held captive for a decade finally escape their captor. Is this a story c0ncept beyond the wildest Hollywood thriller? Too daring for even a tabloid’s pulpy content? Perhaps in previous months such a story would be too extraordinary to invent for readers but just last week the story was reality. Deployed to the scene the media was fast to seek, create and curate all forms of content related to the story. Neighbors became speakers, streets became patchworks of evidence and an entire region a cinematic scene for narration.

Media functions most efficiently when a story needs curation. Well equipped to create content it is no wonder that  many media stories become the most popular narratives for contemporary culture. A weekend box office pales in comparison with the time invested by the general public. Few spend as many hours reading fiction as they do watching a court room drama on cable TV. Contemporary culture is one obsessed with curated reality- a format less tied to the banal and mundane and more with tragedy and trauma. Among the great quandaries on every contemporary brain, namely “What if” and “Who did” the media provides endless examples and responses to suggestion.

Perhaps most ironic is media coverage surrounding stories of individuals held against their will. Instantly deployed to sites of grand escapes the media becomes the next captor as their excitement and need for coverage converge onto a site as a focused train of content creation. Within seconds of being released from their captor the kidnapped become recaptured by the media.

For the three females whose escape from a decade of imprisonment came just a week ago a new form of kidnapping must be navigated. Now hiding in a secret location, the three females are prisoners in a new jail. Though far less violent and exponentially more comfortable (one hopes), this new jail retains a level of abuse. Until the media decides to move on to the next story these victims remain victims. Protected now behind a cadre of lawyers forced to advocate for the suffering, these females remain under attack.

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  1. June 8, 2013 at 10:08 AM

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