This is the photo of the G8 leaders assembled today to discuss climate change in an attempt to work out what is going to replace the Kyoto protocols.
What an incredibly interesting picture in terms of body language. The 8 leaders are joined by José Manuel Barroso, the President of the European Commission... he stands to the right, with a small yet decisive gap seperating him from the others, hands behind his back, and he looks over at them with detachment. Angela Merkel looks as though she's tried to take both Bush and Putin by the arm but hasn't quite the certainty of her position between the two men to fully link arms. I'd love to know whether her place in the centre was by chance or if, more likely, the photographer positioned her there. Romano Prodi has his arms folded and looks defensive, ill at ease and profoundly un-media-friendly. Vladimir Putin has the stance of an off-duty bouncer while Japanese PM Shinzo Abe is stranded on the edge of the line, slightly pigeon toed and uncertain like the class geek loitering on the fringes of the school dance. It's hard not to read a racial aspect into the pose: just how welcome is he in this white Western hegemony? Fate is cruel to have juxtaposed him with the frankly hulking Canadian PM Stephen Harper whose ill-fitting suit perhaps renders visible the reaction of most people to realising that Canada are in the G8, namely 'eh? that's not quite right.' Curiously it's Sarkozy, newest to his role, who looks most at ease with the situation. I love things like this, all the tiny undercurrents played out subtly but in plain sight.