CLIO mr brice - page 37

The impact of the second
photograph was particularly
important as the Vietnam War could
no longer be seen as one waged
directly and discriminately against
the enemy. This helped contribute
to the tide of global public opinion
finally and decisively turning against
the war, with a photo proving the
indiscriminate destruction and
desperation the conflict left in its
Even those who know very little
about the Vietnam War recognise
the images and are instantly
struck by the suffering and death
which marked the war. Other
photos which have arisen from
conflicts hold a similar power and
One such example is from the
Tiananmen Square protests of
1989, with students calling for
democracy in China, which were
brutally suppressed by the Chinese
authorities in the massacre on
4th June. The most famous photo
from the event is of an anonymous
man in a white shirt and holding
shopping bags simply standing
in front of procession of military
tanks (8). His stance, whilst not
aggressive, is defiant. It is instantly
recognisable, as both a symbol of the
might of the Chinese state against its
people, but also a conflict of ideas,
of a democracy versus oppression.
Along with illustrating the nature of
various conflicts, photos also have
the power to raise questions about
the ethical nature and psychological
effects of recording such images.
A particularly notable example of
such a photograph is one taken
during a famine in Sudan in 1993,
by South African Kevin Carter, of
an emaciated child, her spindly arms
and heavy head resting in the dirt
whilst behind her lurks a vulture,
looking over at the hunched figure
Whilst the photograph is not one
of a civilian caught up directly in a
conflict, the circumstances which
led her to be in such a desperate
situation were. The famine came
about as a result of a civil war
which had been raging in Southern
Sudan for ten years, and which
when combined with a drought had
prevented adequate food supplies
from reaching the ordinary Sudanese
people, again demonstrating just
how wide the repercussions of
conflict can stretch.
Fig 8. Tank Man
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