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Adjusting Filters

    Today filters are an integral part of any image-based social media platform. You have the classic black and white (which seems to make anything seem deep), the wide array of color filters that range from jazzy blue to sepia-brown, and of course, there’s the beloved dog filter on Snapchat which everyone seems to have embraced.

    What filters essentially do is they hide or alter an undesired component of an image, making it seem “better” or more suitable for the situation. Hence being dubbed the title filter, because they filter out anything we don’t want in an image. Filters allow people to hide behind an automated effect which covers up what is beneath. They provide a distraction, shifting the center of the image from the subject to the effect. This distraction is what makes the image appealing, as it adds a unique and distinct effect, away from the perceived ‘normalness’ of a standard picture. People adjust their filter to different audiences. For some, they may send a largely-enhanced photo to look as good as possible because they want to impress them, and for others they may send a picture with a filter that makes them look scary or weird, as they’re not trying to win their admiration.

    Similarly to people on social media, nations also have filters. However, the extent that their filters function is way beyond the contexts of social media, even though it is an integral part of their filter. Countries all around the world use these filters to present different images to different people, constantly changing it depending on who they’re addressing; they try to illustrate an idea of how the country is in a way suitable for the eyes of the viewer. When the U.S.A talks to an Arab nation such as Egypt or Saudi Arabia, it emphasizes mutual cooperation and the openness of the west for any society and culture. Then when it talks to Israel it supports and funds it in exchange for tasks and missions –often against Arab nations- and it supports keeping Palestine “partitioned” in the U.N.

    When Egypt addresses the western world it puts on the filter of the free, open, and accepting society that embraces multiculturalism and diversity. Then when Christian families are gruesomely persecuted in El-Minya by backwards-thinking beings with a misperception of religion, they try to hide it under the rug and address the Egyptian people with the filter of ‘safety and security’. Never forget the “our president is great filter” that has been on non-stop since Egypt ever had a president. If that was a filter on Snapchat, it would have the Egyptian president floating up high with platinum armor decorated with police officers and military personnel and an oversized, flamboyant crown. On the very bottom of the screen there would be ant-sized people cheering for the president, and all around him different media icons praising his spectacular capabilities and overstated achievements.

    When considering these facts one has to wonder: Why do countries do this? What is the motivation of a complete image change when addressing different groups of people? And most importantly, why do powerful world leaders feel like they need to constantly adjust the nations’ images in order to create an acceptable impression of their competence? The answer to the former is it is natural for people to talk differently with different people, but countries take this to the next level in order to appeal to all sides, so they can secure their interests as effectively as possible. The answer to the latter however, is simply that they are incompetent. When the Chinese government forges air pollution data to make it seem they’re caring about the environment when in reality they’re regressing and hurting more and more innocent citizens, then there is a clear incompetence in the Chinese government’s ability to reduce environmental destruction whilst maintaining economic growth

    As a Model United Nations, picking “Adjusting Filters” as our theme means we must analyze all the different filters from all the corners of the world, which will subsequently allow us to look past the filters and witness the truth. At least that’s the plan.

    The plan is more than that though. Many past MUNs have named a theme, wrote a description about it and talked about it to people, but never truly applied it in the context of a conference. The plan for this year's conference is basically, we want to make you remember our theme by involving it in all aspects of the MUN conference, so you can take away something from it and gain new perspective in global affairs, as well as life.


The BCMUN 2017 Team.