Image versus LeaderDecember 15, 2015
We commonly say about people that they have charisma or natural authority. At the same time, however, we speak of a strict look, we have created a vocabulary of nonverbal gestures linked to political dominance and the uniform as a basic type of clothing has been associated with strength and respect for centuries. To what degree do charisma, authority and dominant position remain “natural” and to what degree are they constructed by means of visual signs?
As history shows, the images of religious and political leaders have never been formed quite spontaneously and randomly. On the contrary, they were carefully arranged, using all available means of communication ranging from composition of the images through the position of the represented body to the specific spatial installation of the resulting work in churches, aristocratic residencies and political offices. The tradition of depicting European kings in left profile can still be traced today in official photographic portraits of contemporary politicians and the orchestration of political parades, captured in the revolutionary films by Leni Riefenstahl, still serves as a model of public presentation of military feasts.
What image representations are linked to representatives of political power? How are the visual signs of political power transmitted from the political sphere to the field of corporate leadership? Last but not least, what is the role of women in the sphere of leadership images? Do they appear in the foreground alone or do they always stand beside their male partners?
Michael Romancov, political scientist (Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University in Prague)
“Putin – Titan or Titan(ic)?”
Roman Máca, media analyst and blogger
“The Media Image of Miloš Zeman in Russian Media”
Jitka Hausenblasová, gender theorist (Gender Studies non-profit organization)
“Women in the Roles of Political Leaders”