TOKYO-2017 People / Self-Portrait

The Bully Pulpit

  • Prize
    Bronze in People/Self-Portrait
  • Photographer
    Haley Morris-Cafiero

In her latest photo series The Bully Pulpit, Haley Morris- Cafiero investigates the social phenomenon of cyberbullying in the age of Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. Ostensibly anonymous, hidden behind their computer screens, some people bully others, and have done so for years. Yet its all-but commonality—if not celebration—of online bullying has encouraged countless more to mete out these abusive acts, apparently preying on those weaker than themselves. Morris-Cafiero photographed herself costumed like the people who’ve attempted to bully her. Finding photos online, she recreated their images using wigs, clothing, and simple prosthetics, while small imperfections mirror the fallacy that the internet will shield their identities. Finally, Morris- Cafiero overlays the parodies with transcripts of the bullying comments, almost as if she were ‘subtweeting’ them. Morris-Cafiero’s inspiration for The Bully Pulpit was the myriad of people who wrote mean-spirited comments about her after Wait Watchers was published in emails, tweets, Instagram posts, blogs and online comments sections. But instead of responding individually to ‘deaf ears’, Morris- Cafiero realized that a parody on social media, online articles, and blogs—the same vehicles for her own potential hurt— would be seen by millions, and would live again, again, and again.