Reading The Pictures is dedicated to the analysis of news photos and media images.
February 21, 2015

War Photography Family Portrait of the Year

Battery is concerned with the right to have one’s body left alone by others.

—  via The Free Dictionary

I know I tweeted this image when the category winners were announced. With the photo contests in the books though, I wanted to come back and recognize this image more formally. It was awarded “First Place” in the “Portrait” category in this year’s Picture of the Year (POYi) awards.

What I find so powerful, if elegantly simple, too, is how much Alexey Furman’s photo from Ukraine manages to capture and express war as an act of domestic violence. Someone, I’m sure, might object to that interpretation, concerned with either gender stereotyping or, specifically, with the definition of abuse as occurring at home, perpetrated by someone in a person’s life who is supposed to care about them.  And yes, battery and domestic abuse are concepts typically based in common law. But there’s a larger point to the connection. It has to do with the harm we inflict on one another as a family of man.

— Michael Shaw

(photo: Alexey Furman, Ukraine. title: “SHELLING SURVIVOR.” caption: Caption:Larisa, a 30-year old citizen of Mykolayivka, a town near Sloviansk, Donetsk region, Ukraine, sits in the hospital after her home was destroyed by mortar shelling, July 5, 2014. Ukrainian army recaptured Sloviansk and nearby towns from pro-Russian rebels on July 4, 2014, after more then two months of artillery fire from both sides.)

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