You tube warns us. The New York Times tells us the next photo will be upsetting or of a dead child. Interestingly, they don’t give us the option to skip the image and in other parts of the website the same image appears with no warning. And you are not warned when you look at the paper. Why warn us? And the ones with the warning are not always the most upsetting ones. When does publishing a photo re-inflict the pain?
There has been a lot written about the NY Post publishing the photo of the man about to be hit by the subway train. Slate wrote about it and while they questioned if the Post should have published it, they re-published it quite large with no remark on their decision to do so. Reminds me of the publication and re-publication of the Abu Ghraib photos.
Below are more links looking at what to photograph, what to publish, life/death, how photographs of atrocity affect both photographer and audience. Most interesting is reading words by the photojournalists themselves in the Syria and Afghanistan pieces in Time magazine. It it is hearing from witnesses.
Syria’s Agony: The Photographs That Moved Them Most.
TIME asked 28 photojournalists to reflect on their work from the conflict over the last year. “This collection of testimonies is the third in a series by TIME documenting iconic images of conflict.” The first two “9/11: The Photographs That Moved Them Most” and “Afghanistan: The Photographs That Moved Them Most”. It is hard to call the 9/11 testimonies since it is mostly by curators and editors not witnesses.