Saturday, March 26, 2016

More Than One Message Captured in Brussels Airport Photo

Did you see this photo after the latest round of ISIS attacks in Brussels? The shell shocked woman sitting on the bench covered in ash and bleeding from the foot, wearing her shredded yellow jacket that leaves her midriff exposed. You could not have missed it as her portrait was plastered on the front page of every major newspaper. A photo that so eloquently captured the aftermath of terrorism on the face and body of everywoman.

But this photo really disturbs me now that I know the actual story behind the photo, which sends a strong message in more ways than the obvious. This photo was taken by a Georgian journalist, Ketevan Kardava, who was also at the airport that morning. Since she felt she could not help any of the victims in this emergency situation, her journalist instinct took over, and she took pictures of victims of the aftermath of the bombing until she was asked to leave the airport. She took the photo of Nidhi Chaphekar, a flight attendant and mother of two from Mumbai, that has come to symbolize this attack in Brussels.

An interesting story, yes? But how could you not stop and help these people even if you were not a nurse or a doctor? As she worked her way through the airport with her iPhone and snapped photos, did she assist any of the victims she encountered or just photograph them in their state of shock and disbelief? Maybe she could have saved someones life instead of taking their photo. 

It is bad enough that this terrorist act happened in Brussels and people were killed and injured. But when people see it as their "duty" to take photos instead of assisting the victims of a bomb, you have to wonder about the state of humanity in this media-dominated world.

What would you have done? Would you have taken photos of people in distress or dying? Or would you have stopped to help Nidhi. Even if stopping to help just meant being with her or using your own intact clothing to stop her bleeding.

No comments: