Showing the bodies

I was cleaning up my inbox and I found this opinion piece by Michael Vistonay about the Johns-Sharks group sex story. He writes that rather than being about moral outrage (don’t get me started on the issue of consent!), the story has more to do with the power of the media: people were outraged because they saw the distress of the woman involved. He writes that if we hadn’t seen the woman’s profound trauma and grief, the Four Corners story would be just another report into footballers behaving badly.

Which made me think about terrorism and natural disasters. Dead bodies are rarely shown, creating this idea that only cars are killed in car bombings. The pictures of car bomb victims are awful. They’re naked because their clothes were burnt off. And their skin is charred and limbs bloated. It’s so undignified and so human. Maybe if more of these images were shown, there would be greater action on behalf of rich nations like ours to do something about it?

I wonder how the photographers who take these photos – and no doubt need counselling afterwards – feel when their work is sanitised? Let’s just pretend that no one was hurt so we don’t feel queasy.

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