Reading The Pictures is dedicated to the analysis of news photos and media images.
January 14, 2010

Haiti: The Aftermath

Haiti Death Presidential Palace.jpg

What says more about the state of Haiti than the fact this photo was taken in front of the presidential palace?

Haitian injury.jpg

As a clinician, it’s always noticeable how new losses recall previous. If the Haitian earthquake is actually more visually reminiscent of the Indonesian tsunami, to Americans, the key visual touchstones — at least, in following Twitter yesterday — have been Katrina and (the pervasive dust of) 9/11.


Update 1/14 9:30pm PST: Reader mon_oeil’s take on the second shot is much better than mine: It pulls, in a stereotyped way, for “the sensationalized constructs of Voodooism, Zombi-ism and Black Magic.”

(Photo 1: Jorge Cruz/AP. Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Jan. 12, 2010. Photo 2: Frederic Dupoux/Getty Images, December 13, 2010, Port-au-Prince, Haiti))

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