I’m in the process of writing my final second year essay – a 3000 word affair based on the content of lectures, seminars and workshops over the course of the term. I’ve decided to write my essay on the role of photography as a truthful medium when regarding images of war, the intolerable, and the barbaric.
Two of the images I’ve decided to use regard a photograph of a 15 year old Haitian who was shot dead by police for the looting of two plastic chairs and three framed pictures. The photograph, by Paul Hansen, won a Swedish award for best international news image. Aside from the obvious controversy surrounding a photograph of a dead teenager winning an award, the image has recently received additional criticism in light of the existence of a photograph by another photographer named Nathan Weber, who photographed the girl from the opposite side, showing a group of photographers crowded round her.
The award has been put into question – why should Hansen’s photograph have received an award when, clearly, numerous other photographers may have captured almost identical images? It turns out that photographs taken by other photographers at the time have also won awards from separate bodies.
I have included the photographs below for your considerations:
You can read further information on this topic over at PetaPixel, from which the two photographs above are taken.