Many of us remember this moment of desperation, captured in a photo from 1972 that “went viral” before “viral” as term or Facebook or YouTube was even around: It shows nine-year-old Kim Phuc, also known as the “Napalm Girl.” As the PBS website recalls: “It’s a hard image to forget. A young girl, naked, runs screaming toward the camera in agony after a napalm attack incinerated her village, her clothes, and then her skin.”
Associated Press photographer Nick Ut’s image became the epitome for illustrating the terror of war. More details here.
This week, we were introduced to another powerful photo. We subscribe to The New York Times and it was “above the fold” on the front page — hard to miss as I retrieved the newspaper at the crack of dawn from the front lawn. (I’m an early riser). As The Times described: “Photo of drowned migrants captures pathos of those who risk it all.”
“The portrait of desperation was captured on Monday by the journalist Julia Le Duc, in the hours after Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez died with his 23-month-old daughter, Valeria, as they tried to cross from Mexico to the United States.
“The image represents a poignant distillation of the perilous journey migrants face on their passage north to the United States, and the tragic consequences that often go unseen in the loud and caustic debate over border policy.”
Photojournalism like this can be a game changer. Ut’s photo helped change the Vietnam War. Watch the video report here.
I cringed this morning when I saw the photo of Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez, who had died with his 23-month-old daughter .
But as we discussed it at the breakfast table, Shannon reminded me that it also could be a game changer when it comes to addressing the immigration issue. I hope she is right.