World Press Photo of the Year: Suhaib Hijazi, 2, and his brother, Muhammad, 3, were killed when an Israeli airstrike struck their Gaza City house, photographer Paul Hansen said. Their father, Fouad, was also killed, Hansen said. In the photo, Fouad’s brothers carry the children’s bodies to a mosque for burial on November 20, 2012, while the father’s body follows behind on a stretcher.
There were three things jurors were looking for in a winning image — a photograph that reached the intellect, heart and stomach. The Gaza City photo accomplished that, Lyon said.
“The strength of the pictures lies in the way it contrasts the anger and sorrow of the adults with the innocence of the children. It’s a picture I will not forget,” Mayu Mohanna, a jury member from Peru, said in a World Press Photo press release.
But we’re about more than mere image at BTL. We accept that these children are dead (a big concession, given how well Arabs play at being dead for the camera, only to be seen perfectly healthy in other images).
But that’s all we accept. Who says how they died? And why is the light so good for a photograph taken in a narrow alley? Indeed, what is the source of the light that illuminates the right side of their faces and casts the left in shadow—when the sunlight on the building behind them clearly comes from their left?
Why is this photo selected out of thousands (103,000 submitted) just as Human Rights Watch was naming the incident as an Israeli war crime?
The group claimed that more than 40 Palestinian Authority Arab civilians were killed in Gaza during the operation, which was launched to silence the constant rocket fire aimed at southern Israeli civilian communities.
HRW listed the alleged bombing of a home in the northern Gaza town of Jabaliya where a 46-year-old “janitor,” Fouad Hijazi, and his children ages 2 and 4 were killed as an example of an Israeli attack on civilian targets.
Human Right Watch has been thoroughly discredited—not least by its founder—as an independent judge of Israel. One of its workers espoused the belief that Zionism is racism; another collected Nazi memorabilia. Its executive director admitted to a disproportionate focus on Israel.
Excuse us for being suspicious.
When there are so many other photographs to have considered. (Not least those of the Fogel massacre, which I won’t—can’t bring myself to—link to here. They will change you, not for the better; you will be wiser, but infinitely sadder, for having seen them.)
Photos like these:
That one’s a favorite of mine. But so is this one:
This is rather striking:
Which leads naturally to this:
This one isn’t so gripping, but illustrates a point:
But if the winning picture was of children, let’s take our leave with a few of our own:
So, well done, Paul Hansen. You took a good picture (with or without Photoshop). Everything else is bogus.