March 31, 2014

MA370: Still Haunting

Last Monday, we published a series of NYT photos taken aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. Or more specifically, the same flight on the same route since renamed. Our point had to do with the power of photography and the imagination. The combination allowed us to virtually place ourselves (or, place ourselves virtually) aboard the fateful flight fueled by the mystery and the anxiety of not-knowing.

This photo strikes similar chords. If you look at it enough, you can tell that it’s not even an airplane … and it’s certainly not in the air. (The caption, as usual, is below.) Still, all it takes is the prompt it has something to do with MA370 and the mind starts going. I’m curious to know where yours went after you read the title.  I didn’t relate to the larger red circle/window. It was that abstract — though I had a trace of a thought about a screen or an instrument readout somehow. To me, though, the little window was the main draw, and there I saw passengers … on the ghost flight. I didn’t get any further or any more literal than that — such as people held on a tarmac, maybe? No, I just saw reaching and pressing … and pressing some more.

(photo: Edgar Su—Reuters. caption: Mar. 23, 2014. Crew members of a Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force wave as they leave for Australia to help with the search operations for the missing Malaysia Airlines MH370. Via Time “Pictures of the Week.”)

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Michael Shaw
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