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I was answering a comment my friend Kim left on Let me show you… Heavy Cloud’s poem to little Aylan Kurdi that I reblogged yesterday. I asked her a question, and I’d like to hear what other folks think about it, too. This was my comment:

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The sad thing is, how many other children (and adults for that matter) have died trying to flee the terror over there. Why does it take a picture of a child to stop us in our tracks?

Like the one of the little girl in Vietnam who was burned from the Napalm.

On June 8, 1972, AP photographer Nick Ut took this photo of 9-year-old Kim Phuc as she ran from an aeral napalm attack.

On June 8, 1972, AP photographer Nick Ut took this photo of 9-year-old Kim Phuc as she ran from an aeral napalm attack.

 

Or the little girl in Africa who was dying and the vultures were circling her.

rarehistoricalphotos.com

In March 1993, while on a trip to Sudan, photojournalist Kevin Carter was preparing to photograph a starving toddler trying to reach a feeding center when a hooded vulture landed nearby. Carter reported taking the picture, because it was his “job title”, and he was leaving. He was told not to touch the children for fear of transmitting disease. He committed suicide three months after winning the Pulitzer Prize.

According to Joao Silva, another photojournalist, Carter was quite shocked as it was the first time that he had seen a famine situation and so he took many shots of the suffering children. Silva also started to take photos of children on the ground as if crying, which were not published. The parents of the children were busy taking food from the plane, so they had left their children only briefly while they collected the food. This was the situation for the girl in the photo taken by Carter. A vulture landed behind the girl. To get the two in focus, Carter approached the scene very slowly so as not to scare the vulture away and took a photo from approximately 10 meters. He took a few more photos before chasing the bird away.

Taking that picture affected Kevin Carter so much that three months later he took his own life. So here’s my question to you: Why is it that two weeks from now we will have forgotten another dead child’s picture?