It was a picture that, by several accounts, summed up the tense G7 summit over the weekend in Quebec, Canada.
A photograph of world leaders from the Group of Seven nations with the most advanced economies surrounding Donald Trump, first shared on German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s official Instagram account, went viral on social media over the weekend, inviting a flurry of jokes and multiple caption contests. The photo shows Merkel towering over Trump, the only person in the group who is seated, and staring him down. Also pictured are Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, France’s Emmanuel Macron and UK’s Theresa May, among others.
The G7 nations are Canada, France, the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan and Italy. The annual meet was held on Friday and Saturday and was marked by acrimony as the US President arrived late, left early to prepare for his June 12 meeting with North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un, refused to sign the joint statement released at the end of the summit, attacked the trade policies of member nations at a press conference and then personally targetted Canada’s Justin Trudeau on Twitter.
The photo shared by Merkel’s office on Saturday was simply captioned “Day two of the G7 summit in Canada: spontaneous meeting between two working sessions”. But many on Twitter viewed the very act of uploading such a photograph as a message from the German Chancellor.
Many Twitter users took up the challenge of a caption contest and offered alternatives to Merkel’s straightforward description.
American National Security Advisor John Bolton, however, offered a different interpretation of the photograph.
Other world leaders shared different angles of the photograph.
Soon, morphed versions of the photo started doing the rounds, most of them infantilising Trump.
Closer home, Indian Twitter users spotted an opportunity to make the photo more relatable by editing Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Trump’s place, asking when they would receive the Rs 15 lakhs Bharatiya Janata Party leaders promised each Indian would receive if they were voted into power in 2014.