28/5/16

A picture of a picture of a pain: World Press Photo 16

Douma's Children, General News 2nd Prize Stories for World Press Photo 2016 Contest: August 24, 2015, Douma, Syria. A man cradles the body of his daughter, killed in an air raid. Picture taken by Abd Doumany.

Her body still looks languid; I guess she just died in that very moment. I wonder how far they were from each other when it happened, father and daughter, the reason behind him being dry and clean and the red and the ulcers covering her petite limbs when it should be the other way around, just because it requires too much of an effort of cruelty to take the purity away from a child. In spite of the blood, the atrocity, the crime against life, nature, love and justice, in spite of what it is, there is nothing but composure and dignity in the image. No desperation, no agony, no delirious cry of pain, no nothing, not a single enraged display of emotion that may awaken discomfort, guilt or repulsion in the beholder, but quite the contrary; look at the picture for long enough and you'll find yourself trapped in its misplaced serenity. There's a bold attempt of inner warmth, a commitment to an infinite tenderness and a peaceful fight against its own visual irony, in a very precise second in time where rhetoric sounds even futuristic and unprofitable.



Picture taken on 25th May 2016 at Gruner + Jahr Pressehaus for the exhibition of the World Press Photo Contest 2016 winners in Hamburg, Germany.
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