Looking back at the cultural impact of 9/11

Slide show: Remembering the years after the attacks, when everything felt filtered through one September morning

Topics: Friday Night Seitz, 9/11, Slide Shows, Movies, slideshow,

The second entry in our slide show series about pop culture after 9/11 covers three years, 2002-2004. It was a dense and lively period that saw movies, TV, music, literature and comics shifting out of a numb, somewhat disconnected state and becoming more reactive, then provocative, and by 2004 — an election year — combative.

The first installment of this series covered work that appeared in the immediate aftermath of the attacks; because so much of it was in production before the catastrophe, any associations between the work and recent events were likely to be coincidental, maybe more in the eye of the beholder than in the work itself. Starting in mid- to late 2002, though, we started to see more books, TV series, films and music that were meant as a response to the attacks: Bruce Springsteen’s “The Rising,” for instance, and Spike Lee’s “The 25th Hour.” By the time 2004 rolled around, pop culture seemed to have moved past the “can’t we all just get along and grieve together?” stage. There was more work, and more statements, of an overtly political nature — work that was explicitly designed to provoke discussions, maybe even start fights. We’ve collected a few memorable examples here; we hope you’ll add your own picks to the Letters section.

The final installment of this series, covering 2005-2010, will run next Friday.

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    Martyna Blaszczyk/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

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    Slide 1

    Pond de l'Archeveche - hundreds thousands of padlocks locked to a bridge by random couples, as a symbol of their eternal love. After another iconic Pont des Arts bridge was cleared of the padlocks in 2010 (as a safety measure), people started to place their love symbols on this one. Today both of the bridges are full of love locks again.

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    Anders Andersson/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

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    Slide 2

    A bird's view of tulip fields near Voorhout in the Netherlands, photographed with a drone in April 2015.

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    Aashit Desai/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

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    Slide 3

    Angalamman Festival is celebrated every year in a small town called Kaveripattinam in Tamil Nadu. Devotees, numbering in tens of thousands, converge in this town the day after Maha Shivratri to worship the deity Angalamman, meaning 'The Guardian God'. During the festival some of the worshippers paint their faces that personifies Goddess Kali. Other indulge in the ritual of piercing iron rods throughout their cheeks.

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    Allan Gichigi/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

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    Kit Mikai is a natural rock formation about 40m high found in Western Kenya. She goes up the rocks regularly to meditate. Kit Mikai, Kenya

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    Chris Ludlow/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

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    Slide 5

    On a weekend trip to buffalo from Toronto we made a pit stop at Niagara Falls on the Canadian side. I took this shot with my nexus 5 smartphone. I was randomly shooting the falls themselves from different viewpoints when I happened to get a pretty lucky and interesting shot of this lone seagull on patrol over the falls. I didn't even realize I had captured it in the shot until I went back through the photos a few days later

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    Jassen T./National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

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    Slide 6

    Incredibly beautiful and extremely remote. Koehn Lake, Mojave Desert, California. Aerial Image.

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    Howard Singleton/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

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    Slide 7

    Lucky timing! The oxpecker was originally sitting on hippo's head. I could see the hippo was going into a huge yawn (threat display?) and the oxpecker had to vacate it's perch. When I snapped the pic, the oxpecker appeared on the verge of being inhaled and was perfectly positioned between the massive gaping jaws of the hippo. The oxpecker also appears to be screeching in terror and back-pedaling to avoid being a snack!

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    The Yetis of Nepal - The Aghoris as they are called are marked by colorful body paint and clothes

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    Slide 9

    Taken from a zodiac raft on a painfully cold, rainy day

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    Ian Bird/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

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    Slide 10

    This wave is situated right near the CBD of Sydney. Some describe it as the most dangerous wave in Australia, due to it breaking on barnacle covered rocks only a few feet deep and only ten metres from the cliff face. If you fall off you could find yourself in a life and death situation. This photo was taken 300 feet directly above the wave from a helicopter, just as the surfer is pulling into the lip of the barrel.

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