6.20.2006

devastating anonymity

i've given in to the media hype and am watching anderson cooper's special dedicated to world refugee day, during which he is spending much of the two hour show in conversation with angelina jolie. in one exchange that especially caught my ear, both cooper and jolie recounted the first children they had connected with while visiting refugee camps who died hours or days later. moments later, the screen was filled with a child, aminu, being fed some milk with a dark blue tin cup. cooper's voice tells the viewer that this may be the only photograph to exist of this child, who died hours after the photo was taken. while the ability to capture, duplicate, and disseminate images is a relatively new phenomenon in human history, in this age of camera phones, video ipods, and digital cameras, it's hard to imagine a time without (relatively easy) visual documentation. it's more difficult to realize that in this age when we rely so much on the audiovisual modes to communicate, these are not viable options in many parts of the world.

on this report, devastating images abound. rifles strapped onto the backs of adults embracing young children; bright colored cloth cloaking the bodies of women and children who are discussed as statistics of rape, beatings, genocide; tents, food rations, camps; images across africa and within the united states documenting undocumented youth living in the u.s. without family; all seeking refuge.

apologies in advance and for the previous post for incomplete thoughts, simplistic analyses...