photo of a dead child

Discussion in ' Site Help' started by lauriee, Oct 5, 2005.

  1. I am ashamed to say that when I saw this photo it was late at night
    and I was on my way to bed so I didn't report it immediately...It
    was in the critiques forum on October fourth.

    It was a picture of dead child...and the topic was
    called "funeral"...I went to the photographers portfolio and it was
    in there with some remarks...from what I read it was not posed...I
    don't know if anyone can find it now...but I would think that it
    isn't apporopriate...? I found it very disturbing.

  2. Laurie, I don't know about the shot in question, but 100 years ago, it was not uncommon to have portraits made of deceased relatives. It seems weird to us now simply because it isn't commonly done. But it's not wrong, either.
  3. a lot of things are not "wrong" exactly but still are uncomfortable to look at...If it had been an adult maybe it wouldn't have bothered me so much...but it was a child of about seven years old...and there is no explaination about the cause of death..which makes me CSI spider senses activate! ....probabley nothing but I had to mention it to have a clear conscience.
  4. People are afraid of death because theses days we are not exposed to it. I really do not want to turn this into a finger pointing session about the United States, but there seems to be an epidemic of inability to face reality and nature in America, and completely unfounded idea of what exactly constitutes morality.

    To name a few:

    1. On this site it was reported that a couple in Texas were imprisoned for six months after the local drugstore submitted prints of pictures they had taken of their child in the nude breastfeeding from his mother. The children were put in care, and I believe no apologies or compensation were offered.

    2. We have seen barely any corpses from the Iraq War. This seems to be extremely disrespectful to those who died fighting, are we so ashamed of them?

    3. American children can watch people being shot and killed hundreds of times a week on televison, but a single breast or a couple making love is censored because of what, exactly? Will a childs mind be seared by these natural images? And will it not be seared by the callous murders, and glorifications of violence depicted nightly on television. Many American films are nothing more than an endless parade of killings, it's really pornographic in its fetishisation of violence.

    Why is violence made into pornography ok, but a simple breast or a couple enjoying making love, or even an erect penis, is absolutely forbidden? Are Americans becoming such sheep that they simply do not question anything?

    In Japan huge phalluses fashioned from tree trunks serve as central icons in fertility festivals, and I find that the attitudes of the Japanese toward sex are much more healthy than Americans. America in the bizareness of its attitudes seems to have become completely pathological.
  5. How about a middle-ground view: I see no problem in taking a photograph of a dead friend or relative, but exhibiting it on seems a bit weird to me - I would have thought of it as being a more private matter, but maybe that's just me...
  6. Claude, what the hell does any of that dribble have to do with Laurie's concern. She saw a picture of a dead child and she found it disturbing. She chose to question whether or not it was appropriate for this site. Why, every time someone mentions a concern like this, does it have to be twisted into some anti-American sentiment. You don't even know for a fact that she is American. But, whether she is or not, maybe showing a little compasion for her sentiments would make a bit more sense.

    Admins, please now feel free to delete Claude's and my comments since neither offer anything constructive.
  7. Uh, dribble? Something threatening in my remarks? Why don't you make an intelligent argument instead of trying to shout me down, or are you simply incapable of that? I guess that is another disturbing thing I find in the attitudes that have come to predominate in today's America, no one cares if they are right or wrong as long as they can shout loudest.

    Maybe the moderators can remove your post as being unnecessarily insulting and aggresive and setting an unpleasant tone for the forum?
  8. Uh, Jamie, excellent photos by the way (your portfolio).

    I wasn't trying to attack Laurie by my comments. I found her discomfort interesting, and I thought I would get a general discussion on what is and is not acceptable rolling. I do think that you are being unnecessarily "bossie" in your tone though, and that does not contribute to a free flow of ideas. It must be very tough for Americans to hear criticism, but it is necessary sometimes (I am a Yank by the way).

    I think that the intolerance and puritanism endemic to American society should be addressed. I have not had a chance to see the photo that Laurie was talking about, but I did see my own father's body after he died, the only time anyone in the family saw it before he was buried, and actually, I kind of wish I had a photo to remember and ponder the event by. Death is at the core of what concerns all human beings in the end, and to be afraid of looking it squarely in the eye is to avoid a true understanding of our own existence. It is the great equalizer, and if more people focused on facing their own mortality instead of seeking to amass wealth they can't take with them, and often gained at the expense of others, the world would be a different place (sermon over).

    I seem to remember a whole book full of photos of dead convicts, from around 100 years ago, along with the crimes they commited. What indeed does it mean to honor the dead?
  9. Claude B has some interesting and challenging thought.

    American media generally self-censor photos of the dead, so that Americans have no real idea, say, of what happens politically and militarily in certain countries in (for instance) Africa, where brutal killings, sometimes even by armies of youths, recently were commonplace, and even to go to market, some people had to walk past those rotting corpses.

    And where are the photos of the corpses rotting in Iraq. Self-censored? Or forbidden entirey by an anti-press Administration.

    Paris Match and other European publications have no compunction about showing photos of carnage, but they are literally unpublishable in the United States.

    But who benefits from censorship, even self-censorship?

    I remember my late uncle telling me about what now has become a famous hanging in a central park in downtown San Jose, of a man (or was it two?) taken from jail and strung up in a very old and strong tree by an angry crowd after it was quite clear they had kidnapped the child of a department store owner and been caught red-handed. My uncle was from another generation, and that (otherwise) gentle and well-educated man was happy to have been there to have witnessed such an event.

    I don't excuse him or even explain him, but his satisfaction at seeing what he regarded as 'swift justice' in a case in which there had been a confession, was something he did not struggle with (and the person(s) hanged were white.)

    Well, I don't truck with hanging for any reason, but suggest that if we had to confront the brutal photos of the killing that goes on every day in the name of our country and the name of justice in this country, we might have somewhat different views of the slaughter that we propagate.

    I once chronicled the Viet Nam war for a brief time as a photographer, and there was death in surprising places and ways. Little of that got shown in the United States, but it did get shown.

    That influenced the outcome of that war; in fact it helped hasten its end. Americans had no stomach for images of the death of their soldiers and/or of the Vietnamese, nor of the maimings in the name of war (see the burned child running from her napalmed village).

    Now, with the Iraq war, none of it gets shown.

    Public outcry stopped the Viet Nam war.

    The current Administration has learned that lesson and even has gone so far as to prohibit photos of the caskets of the returning dead from being shown being unloaded from cargo planes (supposedly out of 'respect for the dead', but we all know that they don't want images which may turn the tide of this war, don't we?)

    And just try sneaking into a Veterans Adminstration Hospital or other military hospital where the tens of thousands of American soldiers with maiming injuries, such as amputated limbs were being stacked in overcrowded hallways not so very long ago, and see what the reponse would have been to any attempt to chronicle by photography how the hospital system was overloaded from such a mass of unexpected injuries.

    I didn't see the photo of the dead child, and might not have liked seeing it. But it's hardly pornographic to see the dead, even if it currently disturbs some of THIS GENERATION of Americans with their sterile view of life/death and the relationship of the two.

    It long was an Irish tradition to bring the casket open in the living room and have a 'roast' of the recently departed while looking at him/her -- an old-fashioned Irish wake.

    Perhaps with improved medical care and our greatly increased longevity, we can put images of death outside our minds. Death no longer is something which Americans or residents of many 'civilized' countries with long life expectancies expect to visualize -- contrary to 50 to 100 years ago when it was a daily or weekly experience for many.

    Mores have changed, and there is the additional incongruity of seeing too many killings/murders on television (if one watches it) but seldom seeing a body (other than a lifeless form, but actually one with gore and evidence of the true carnality of death.

    The suppression of images of death suggests that violence portrayed on television or propagated in some far off country by our military somehow doesn't have any more than an intellectual and legal consequence, but leaves no unpleasant realities to be dealt with, such as dead bodies and the need to contemplate death as more than just a 'construct' but as a reality and a finality.

    I'm squeamish also about death; I'm a product of my culture and my times. But I'm willing to be challenged by the subject and to face it in a photograph.

    Someday I'll have to face it personally, and no amount of excuse-making will make it go away.

    John (Crosley)
  10. "I think that the intolerance and puritanism endemic to American society should be addressed." You have yourself a nice life-long project there Claude, maybe do a photo presentation for us if you get the chance.
  11. It is only Americans?, it seem very easy to attack them (I am not american at all) but there are countries there that are democracies and even more puritans than America.
    So you have to be fair here.
    Some southamericans countries can be putted here as examples (very catholic countries some of them) that even will close down an art exposition if you use some religious icons to do some critics.
    Even Europeans too....
  12. Laurie's shocked and upset by viewing a corpse...I am baffled as to how this is relative to Americans' "inability to face reality." Claude, here in the States, before it's a questionably-used media tool to manipulate the population, it's often just considered distasteful.

    Yes, we often bury our dead after open-casket viewings during a mourning period, and yes, we watch shoot-'em-up movies and TV. . .we're not alien to death by any means. Further, while publishing such images helped close the Vietnam War, it's all in how you spin it. Showing photographs of two downed US pilots' bloated and beaten bodies dragged through the streets of Somalia by warlords' gangs of marauders has the opposite effect, too - it raises anger and feelings of hatred. ALSO not necessarily a good idea.

    Consider the parents, spouses, and children of the killed US soldiers in Iraq. Do they need to see their loved ones pasted across a newspaper cover? Do they deserve to? I mean, if it were there, it would be an editorial decision by the newspaper - one designed to sell papers, and profit monetarily, from their deaths as much as it would be to "tell the truth." Think about it. . . does the more loosely published and widespread images of death and sex in Europe speak of an open mind, or desensitization and monetary gain by publishers and editors who found a demand and a way to profit from it?

    Further per your statement, photos of breast feeding, love making, and death are not "Forbidden" by any means - hell, you can go by videotapes of dwarfs galavanting naked during orgies, I'm sure - you'll just find that where and when it's printed or broadcast is restricted, usually for those over the age of 18, when the US considers a person an adult and wholly responsible for their own decisions.

    If you'd like more discussion, shoot me an email - I'm sure I'd be intrigued. But for now, I'd politely ask you reconsider your opinion and statement about Laurie, who, after viewing the 99.999% norm of flowers, birds, landscapes, and still lifes on, found a dead child on her screen.
  13. Death in tv and movies is aseptic, quick and painless. A little spurt of blood in the chest, a slumping down, and that's it. No more painful/disgusting/degrading than a tetanus shot.

    Now, look at the photos some service members bring back from Iraq, to get a glimpse of what death really looks like.

    Back in the day, people went to WWI with visions of gallant redcoats marching down Westminster, flanked by spotless cavalry in white horses. Home by Christmas.

    They went on to be mowed down by the machine guns of the Somme. or gassed to death at Passchendaele, like cows at an abattoir and vermin in their holes, their rotten corpses still being dug up by shells months after.

    Tv and movies have replaced scarlet and gold marches, but people remain the same. And they'll rot just as fine as they'll always done.
  14. I would suggest to Laurie that she sticks to viewing only those flowers, etc (they also die BTW).

    Open the *appropriate* categories and look at them. It is sort of like getting to know how to use the remote control of a TV.

    Life and death are facts. Documenting and displaying them is perfectly alright as long as it is done in a dignified way.

    Take it from a guy who was forced take care of the delivery of his first and only child as the stupid midwife did not show up on time and was late by half hour or so. Everything went well and I only collapsed several hours later.

    A female relative of my wife stood by frozen by the whole sight all the while and did not do a damned thing. As always, being a gracious host that I am, made some nice coffee for her as well!
  15. Vivek, it seems like your wife's friend got shocked, as Laurie.
  16. Wife's older sister, Gustavo!
  17. Laurie, it is probably this photo you are talking about Laurie. You probably didn't read well the comments. It's posed. I admit this quite bad taste thou, and I wouldnt post that myself.
    Interesting thread thou thanks to Claude, John, Vivek...
    in Japan, where I live, they used to burn dead bodies and then, two-by-two, relatives themselves pick, using long sticks, bones and remains placing them in an funeral box... is Asia, life and death are closely 'mixed' together. Which is different in the western countries, probably religion and taste for hidden things, which can led to hypocrisie and puritanism, and finaly a lot of frustration. Strange world!
    Well, like Vivek, I would advise those who cannot handle vision of death, vision of sickness, vision of war, to keep on flower side and buy special glasses and keep 'happy'. I won't blame them, that their choice... but they will miss a part of life on earth too...
    > vision of nude could also be treated the same way.
    There is art, documentary and reportage, there is also bad taste, mind manipulation and pornography... appreciation of it being quite volatile and subjective from a person to another. But this appreciation could be helped by knowing and viewing the entire photographer works.
    I would suggest to read some comments on this photo of mine posted months ago ...
  18. Jacques:

    All bodies are still cremated in Japan. It is the law and in the traditional ceremony they still do the chopstick bit. That's what goes into the urn on the Butsudan. There is simply not enough land for body burial.

  19. There was an amazing photo book a few years ago about 19th century death photos, I think it was called "Wisconsin Death Trip", or some other state. It was common back then to take photographs of the dead, which would then be displayed on the mantlepiece along with photos of the living. This was in an age when 70% of children died before age 11, and the major cause of death among women was childbirth.

    Death has become something Americans have little experience with, and when we do encounter it, it is in a sanitized form.
  20. ? Constance,<p> I know well, I live there and I attended few ceremonies like this as my wife's family is Japanese...! (may be my bad english: the 'used to' instead of 'the usage')
  21. g|1


    Don't the dead have rights? I mean, I'm not going to be around to care much when I'm dead, but I really don't fancy my corpse being photographed and put up for public view!
    I am actually more concerned about respecting the dead person, more than the feelings of innocent viewers.
    No disrespect for your point of view Laurie, just that I find it more unsettling that we could be photographed dead, when we most definitely would not look our best! I personally would rather be remembered as looking lively and happy!
  22. I remember seeing a documentary about 10 or 15 years ago that was following gang
    violence at schools in Los Angeles, Houston and I think it was Atlanta. One segment
    followed a pre-
    teen gang member who was going to "wax" a member of a rival gang at his school. But
    before he was able to, he was shot himself by the kid he was planning to shoot.

    The one thing that sticks in my mind to this day about this whole episode was when they
    were interviewing the boy who was shot from his hospital bed (he survived). The boy was
    genuinely surprised that bullet actually hurt. He thought that shooting someone was just
    a simple and painless way to make them go away, just like on TV and in video games; no
    more consequence than erasing something from a page. Claude and others have a point,
    in my opinion.
  23. Jacques:

    The use of the noun (usage) makes considerable difference in understanding that the practice is ongoing as opposed to "in the past".

    We just went through this with grandma who lived to the usual Japanese old age of 92.

  24. photos of the dead aren't an issue (IMO). if, however, it is a picture of a fresh mutilated corpse, victim of say a traffic accident or some other violent death then the story is different. the police take pictures purely for a informational need. a random person taking pictures for gain would be in the wrong. otherwise it just isn't a big deal. that is to say it probably wouldn't be nice to get up in your grandmothers wake and snap a few shots of her laying in the coffin... maybe somebody posing with it. that would be inappropriate but not morally wrong. Also the fact that the subject was a child doesn't make a difference to me either. a dead child is not any more or less sad than a dead grandmother or a dead person of any age, it is all sad in it's own form. you just gotta remember that everybody does it (dies that is).
  25. Morality is a slippery customer, much in demand by hypocrites and fools.
  26. Ah yes, these issues... usually when reading these, I can but shake my head when I remember examples of it being taken too far.

    For example, there was this one shot of a few Finnish people, I think they were kids, in a family sauna, if I recall correctly taken by their father through a window, showing nothing "critical" - a perfectly normal, non-offensive family shot for any Finn. But of course, he put it on a photo site, I think it was PhotoSig, and of course immediately he got accused all the way from bad taste to child pornography, for crying out loud. How ridiculous.

    Americans are perhaps not the only nation that tends to go borderline �berhypocritic more often than I even care to think about, but they are definitely the most known example. And by this I don't mean to say every american is like that, but it seems to be a sadly common trait.

    Too many people really seem to have lost any sensible perspective to life, since basically EVERYTHING is offensive to them. A good example often encountered in photography sites is nude pictures, every picture or thread containing such material (even only implied or partial, "safe" nudity, such as the mentioned breastfeeding photos) has to be flagged with capital warnings and whatnot, while for example in Finland it wouldn't be any sort of big deal, nor do I see any reason it should be. How people that are so concerned about stuff like that can even procreate is beyond me. I guess they have to keep their eyes shut during the process, or use artificial fertilization.

    When perfectly normal parts of life can't be photographed and shown, something is quite wrong, as long as the subjects of the photo aren't offended, and in the case of photojournalism, even that can't always be fully avoided, taking the "bigger picture" into account.

    And about Jacques's photo - who's in the wrong, the people trying to make the person who has taken to look bad because he takes a photo of a less fortunate person, or the photographer? No contest. It's another thing to take shots that ridicule people, that applies to every person, but to NOT take photos of a person simply because he doesn't fit a norm is an insult to such people. In my opinion the same goes for, for example, taking pictures of homeless people and similar - hypocritics call those shots "social porn" and taking advantage of the less fortunate (and this seems to be quite common even in Finland and the rest of Europe). I guess it's again people wanting to sweep the truth and reality under a carpet. If the shot isn't about ridiculing in such a case, it is valuable photojournalism that should make people face the truth. Same goes for war photos and so on.

    Well, this again ended up being a damn long reply. I'm not a very good writer, so I'm not sure how my points come up. I don't mean to insult anyone with this, and these are just my opinions, but the way I see it, my opinions really shouldn't even be insulting to anyone but those who are quilty of the mentioned forms of uncalled-for hypocrisy.
  27. "those who are quilty of the mentioned forms of uncalled-for hypocrisy."

    That's why we have threads like this, isn't it? If we all had the same definition of "uncalled-for-hypocrisy" there would be no hypocrisy that was uncalled for. All there would be was the "called-for" kind.

    It is true we don't see many pictures of dead in Iraq, but I have seen quite a few - I think more than I have seen of the dead of the 9/11 attack on America, or the one on Spain, or the one on Britain.

    Many things make up the human spirit, and those things are manifested in the differences that are implanted, fostered, and matured, by all our influences. Like Laurie, I am not a fan of the subject picture, but that is my opinion. It is, as we discover, a picture of the photographer, I guess. But it doesn't take much to get us going, does it? Cheers.
  28. Teppo, the thing to remember is that in America, you have a legal right to believe in whatever you want - and be respected for it. That means no one is going to fire a bazooka at you for not believing in the same one can tell you what political party you should belong to with a pistol at your temple...etc. Overall, that's a great thing - especially when you look at what goes on in other parts of this sometimes terrible world. Sure that doesn't happen in plenty of other "civilized" countries, either - but a lot else does. Let's talk about India's caste system, for example. How do you think many Americans view a life that is dictated to you before you're out of the womb? It's all relative.

    Anyway, a side-effect, of course, is that when you apply such rules to their fullest and EVERYONE'S voice matters, you end up as the butt of jokes in more liberal countries, walking your hometown streets where an exposed breast with a baby suckling is considered shocking.

    Of course, these same peoples that like to laugh at us often seem to forget that just a mere 80 years ago, it was common in the US to have lynchings take place in the Southern States, the prosecution of rape ever rare due to the woman's shame, and no one but white men in much of a place to vote. Are we hyper-sensitive and overly PC? Maybe. But frankly, I'd rather have to listen to someone put me down due to my nationality and chuckle than not live in a society that's progressed as far as it has. OK, so TV and movie violence, and wakes, aren't really "facing death regularly." From what I understand, NO ONE is entirely "comfy" with it. It is a part of life - but is it also to be art?

    So laugh, shake your head - I don't think a majority here would really have it any other way.
  29. Chris, I am at a loss here to understand your readable post (I'll admit that Teppo's is a bit tooo long for me). Among the things you have addressed- from the little that I know of the country (mostly firsthand and very little or almost none from any 30 second TV clips)- the single most worrying factor concerning independent India (close to 60 years of its existence)is not the defunct caste system but the burgeoning population.
  30. That means no one is going to fire a bazooka at you for not believing in the same god
    Depends on your definition of "bazooka".
  31. Vivek, agreed, maybe not the BEST analogy, as here in the US, discrimination is hardly dead.

    However, from my understanding (some first hand from transplanted co-workers), the government there, while proclaiming caste discrimination illegal, also allows a lot of the discrimination to slide - in fact to a large degree, it's still encouraged. The lowest of the castes, while cleaning the septic tanks, would be raising quite the eyebrow that it was interpreted as "defunct."

    The population problem, too, may not be as much an issue as economic flaws that allow such a large proportion of the population to be impoverished. . .and there too the still-breathing caste system plays in.

    But alas, we're swaying from dead people photos...sorry about that:) It's the coffee!
  32. Chris - good point;)
  33. Wow!
    I had no idea that my opinons on a photo of a dead child would bring about so much debate! I'm glad to see I woke some of you up! LOL

    First of all I am American and proud of it! I am probabley one of the most liberal Americans around. I belong to no organized religion...I support right to life and I investigate haunted houses in my spare time. I am the daughter of a Holocaust survior as my mother is a german/gypsy. I am lucky to be here at all since my mother is the only one out of her eleven brothers and sisters that wasn't steralized by Hitler and his men. So although I am American I am no stranger to other cultures. I was also married to a man from India for ten years and as I travel to Europe to visit my mother and brothers and sisters often...So please understand I am not your "average American"....My comments about erect penis' have absolutely nothing to do with this thread! LOL...I found that laughable. My gosh I'm a healthy 39 year old hetrosexual woman of COURSE I like erect penis' hahaha...but a mans body can be equally as sexy when his penis isn't erect! That was my point in the thread someone seemed to think was important to this discussion!

    As for breast feeding mothers in Texas...Well I would probabley have been one of the women doing the feeding. I have also been a midwife's assistant and am fully in support of breast feeding mothers and their right to breastfeed wherever they choose!

    So back to the picture.....A dead child would cause a reaction in ANYONES soul. If it didn't they are made of stone. I was concerned about why someone would post that for the world to see. What about the boys mother...Would she feel alright with seeing her dead son on the internet? Lastly the thought went through my mind about wheather or not we can just ASSUME that this picture was taken legally. Is there a possability that some psycho could have done something like this to a child and posted it here? Even as far fetched as that idea might seem. I couldn't just ignore the thought and not ask the question.

    I have to tell you...there are some really unkind people on this forum....geesh!

  34. Chris, I was born in India and grew up there till my late teens. Yet, by the time I left the country, I learnt enough to understand that it is a lot more complex than learning about Laurie's heritage. The stories you have heard second hand, some may be true. I had witnessed a few myself. Nothing to do with the existing rule of law and everything to do with misguided small groups. Personally, from my family (brothers, sisters and self) it is an amalgam of quite a few castes through marriage. Not common but nothing unusual either.

    Laurie, Interesting to hear about your heritage. Only a few years ago, I became aware of Gypsies. Later, I was informed (from Mordecai, a prof from Jerusalem) that not all of them originated from Punjab (a region now in India and Pakistan). Complex history.

    Regardless of our difference of opinions on the topic of this thread, I have to thank you from giving a big break about the ever popular ratings discussion prevalent here.
  35. Vivek,
    Yes the gypsies do have a very complex history and they are not very good about allowing outsiders to come into their world either. So unfortunately the gypsy language and world is becomeing dilluted and almost non-exsistant. My mother was in fact only half "gypsy" her mother was full and was a fortune teller. However grandma married a German and ironicly her inlaws were Nazies and the very family that was commanded to do away with gypsies is the same family that hid and protected my mother and her brothers and sisters. Most of my aunts and uncles feel quite lucky to have been only steralized and not sent to a camp...Strange isn't it...My mother escaped the process because she had not begun her first mensus yet.

    But back to the photo...I work with children. Every day all day...Naturally the possability no matter how small that this little boy was abused weighed heavily on my mind until I made the first post the next morning...If that's wrong...then there is much more wrong with the world than America can take the blame for! LOL

    BTW...My father died in 2001 and I was in the room with him. I spent quite a long time with him after he passed and never once did I consider taking a photo and posting it on! LOL...He would have just DIED! OOPS...well you know what I mean!
  36. Ok! Well I worked up the nerve to go have another look and since October 4th the photographer has posted that the child is NOT dead and that it is indeed him!
    So I left him this message to smooth things over before he finds his way here and I recieve 1's forever more on my rated photos! LOL

    Oh my Goodness! You should see the mess I caused in one of the forums due to this photo! LOL...I am SO relived this is not a dead child! However I irritated several people with my worry that some psycho photographer might have murdered a child and posted him on the forum! I am slinking away now....back to the forum to share my relief and embarassment for not coming back here and making sure of what I was seeing! My apologies!

  37. gib


    I remember the slaughter in East Timor a few years back. The US was slow to respond, the Australians went in more quickly. The French photographic magazine, PHOTO, published some horrific photos from East Timor. I happened to work with a fellow from Australia and I spoke to him about it and commended his country and their military for going in to stop things.

    More or less the same time, the second Hannibal Lector film came out and was talked into going to see it for a second date, which turned into the date from hell, but more about that some other time. There is a scene where Lector has dinner, and cuts off some of Ray Liotta's character's brain, he is purportedly still alive at the time, for the evening's repast.

    The PHOTO photos from East Timor included one that showed a man chewing on a severed human arm.

    I tried to recalibrate the sense of showing Lector as entertainment but not showing East Timor as reality.

    Maybe some one who is smarter/wiser than me (thousands of people I'm sure) can explain it to me.
  38. Laurie: LOL!
  39. I think one thing most of the people forget here on photo net, including the other day with the picture of the guy with the erection, is that photography isn't necessarily always art. this is a photography web site, not just an 'art' website. sure many of the people are interested in the artistic side of photography here but some here aren't they are more interested in the carnal side, or the photojournalistic side, or recording their lives side, or the travel side.. you name it. a photo of a dead child is something that many here will not see very often and maybe not at all. it may not be artistic either. but it does convey a moment captured in time that many will not experience. It is sad in a sense that some find it offensive. it is sad that poeple find many things offensive because that is the root of social limitations which in form results in the rules we all live by. the more offended a society is at everything the more it limits itself. The Rant >> (has little or nothing to do with photography and is mostly just a rant read this at your own risk of bordom to death): the US is just a mild victim of this mindset just like any privileged society will be. there are many in america that aren't privileged too, there are americans who are educated. one of my pet peeves for the longest time was listening to foreigners (who came to america for it's secondary education) call americans dumb or uneducated, or spoiled or pampered. to me that was just an ignorant view propagated by media that they were ignorant enough to believe. I don't live in LA and play on the beach with Pamela Anderson. More than half of the united states is made up of hardworking blue collar kind of people. People who live and work in McDonald, or work in the factory down the street, or work as loggers, or as farmers, or as cattle farmers. they are all the hard working back bone that makes America what it is. In the south many of these kind of people go to church on sunday and go eat out after church. the work 8 hour days monday through friday, and come home to a husband or wife who also does the same. Many of them see only get to see their children during this time, because most of their childrens time is spent at a school house were they get raise by the poeple who got general education degrees at the local community college. These people stuggle to pay bills to keep up with a life style that is the expected norm as presented by the media that inundates their lives. they sit down in the evenings and watch tv and see shows put on by the rich minority in the US. shows that depict violence and fear and tragedy.. like CSI, or the news. News that tells them the other half of the world hates them and that that other half of the world wants to see them dead. see things like the Oklahoma bombing or the stuff in NY. they then turn around and see their kids being influenced by other children, who have parents that don't care as much or can't, who lead their own children into dangerous parts of life. then analysts ask why this back bone of America is so alarmist in it's being, why are they so offended by everything, why they want more rules, and more cops, and less guns, and less drunks on the corner hollering how the world sucks. they vote in presidents who they feel will help and believe the news about everything. they believe the news and the president and the rest of the media (which is their only tie to the outside world beyond their town) about who bombed some buildings that really, nobody knows conclusively 'who' did. then the Powers that be use the fear instilled by this to generate more fear. next thing you know you have more poeple supporting war than not. and in the end their will is directed in a ruthless manner to a society of people on the other side of the world who probably feel and live in similar manners. they work make kids and eat and go to bed, just to wake up again the next day to do it again. their media tells them the same thing about the other half of the world doing what it does. It is the ignorant masses believing the less ingorant smaller masses all out being foolish. spinning around really fast on a spec of dust in a universe with uncountable specs of dust. every one of you reading this does nothing to very little out of habit. you get up in the morning and you get ready for the day. some of you get up in the evening and get ready for the night. most all of you then go do something called 'productive' for a required time, and then return to your domociles to do whatever else suits your fancy. some of you don't have to do the 'productive' stuff and can just sit all day doing whatever crosses your mind. like read this stuff on the monitor in front of you. stuff written by somebody you don't know in a place you have never been and probably never will be. when you are done with your day and playing with your toys, and reading really great or stupid stuff like this, you will get ready for bed maybe watch a little more of the boob toob and then go dream until habit takes you through to the next life. the average time many people make concious decisions about something that will make a difference in the world is about .00002 times a day. Most people find things out of their routine disturbing. maybe Laurie is used to seeing pretty pictures of flowers and bees and things, and the picture of the little boy brought to mind what is normally out of sight and out of mind. it was out of her normal routine and disturbed her. some how this thread all evolved into some debate of how she is an American and how the US is responsible for all bad things in this world and is blind to all of it. maybe the US is . Maybe the US doesn't respond to everything. but when a bunch of people in a country piss off the other half of the people in the country and they all start killing each other, or a tsunami wipes out half of the coastal regions along the Indian Ocean, at least the US responds some how. the US even responded to Iran's earthquake. Which foreign country responded to New Orleans being flooded? or Which country rallied donations from their average citizens when floods from the Mississippi wiped out farmlands in the central US? which other contries are aware of things like the Oklahoma bombing? Which other contries know what the klondike bar is named after? bad things happen in the US too. kids killing other kids over a gram of dope. little girls who don't know better having trains run on them because they don't know better or are too drugged up to stop it. 12 year olds taking shotguns to their fellow students. at night walking through some places in the US is a dumb thing to do. People like david keresh holeing up in compounds. Poeple with vindettas against society sending them bombs in the mail. People mixing up fertilizer in trucks and driving them under big buildings filled with poeple. Most of the older generation in the US remembers when the government opened fire on it's own poeple. most of the younger generation remembers classmates opening fire on them. Ignorant foreigners say Americans are blind to these things but we aren't. they know what death is and have seen it millions of times over. the tv helps us do that. there is some statistic that says the average american child has seen a 100,000 or so deaths by the age of 5, we get to see the deaths of people all over the world, war, epidemics, plague, natural disasters, all of it,, all America's responsibility to fix... but god forbid we police it too or reap the benefits of the society we help in good times (I am not so serious about that I think US foreign policy is bad we should leave you all to your own devices). So one nice member of this net would rather not see another depiction of death? and people say it is because she is american. do any of the foreigners know what one of the biggest industry in the US is? it is Porn. do you think that it is because we are american that we don't want to see some guy with a hard on. how is a hard on NOT sexual?, it is used to put INTO a person. saying it isn't porn is ignorant. Some of the most popular shows on evening television are about death. Is this because americans are blind to it? Personally I support whatever the administrators of this website decide because it is their website. we pay them to have this environment. If they choose to delete a dick picture then that is their choice. if some yahoo wants to leave because of it then let them. if a lady doesn't like death but it is portreyed, and it is allowed the she needs to be able to express her feelings in a post were most of you express feelings on IMPORTANT things like ratings. or empathize with this rant then .. yea baby rock on. but I will have you ALL know I usually don't post my opinions like this. so I hope tommorrow you will all forgive me and give all my pictures 7/7s.):)
  40. damn byron that is a long post you are full of it!
  41. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    I have several hundred photography books. Books of photographs. Many of the great photographers have photos of dead children in these books. It's not something to be disturbed by. It's a fact. People die, including children.

    I find the reactions here about this to be bizarre. How will we know if we don't see the photos? How will we understand if we stick our heads in the ground and ignore what is real?

    War is disturbing, I never see anyone (except maybe governments) saying don't look at photos of war. It's what's happening, if we don't see it, we don't know.
  42. whew! Byron you had a lot to say and thank you for speaking up! LOL...Can I just add a couple of things. I'm afraid by the time this is said and will know more about me than you ever needed or wanted...but it does go along with all of this.

    A couple of people have made it sound as though I have spent my life dancing on clouds and sprinkeling fairy dust. That I am too soft and should just go back to my suburban life and if I don't like it I should go find a nice landscape to stare at.

    That probabley offends me more than anything else implied about me here. So I feel the need to vent..and rant and share who I truly am.

    I am the product of a sick and dysfunctional home...LOOONG STORY and I won't bore you with the details...

    I married young and had my first child by 20 and five years later I was a single mother with three children and then 12 years later a single mother with four children. I earned 18,000 a year. I have been homeless and I have been hungry. I've been without electricity and had my belongings repossessed. I have permenant marks on my body from physical abuse and then I turned around and married a man who spent the next ten years of my life being verbally abusive. I have experienced pain and trials in my life for sure! Those trials may not have made me a better American to SOME of you but they have made me a better woman and a stronger one!

    I watched my dad die of lung cancer within three months of diagnoses and I've watched one of my best friends die of Aids as well as my favorite cousin. Life has been tough! However...I am not mad at America or even the men in my life that I allowed to treat me poorly. I accept my responsibility in the relationships and realize that I allowed it and at any time I could have stopped it by walking away. It's now three years later...EXTREMELY happy and through it all...I've raised some great kids. My oldest son leaves next week for Basic Training for the Marines. I live daily with the fact that he will most likely go to Iraq. So seeing a dead ANYTHING right now...bothers me.

    I shared all of this not because I am expecting sympathy. NO WAY! I just wanted to point out that sometimes what you assume about people is VERY far from the truth.

    Photography is something that brings me great joy! I can go out and find beauty and not only find it...capture it. It may not be art to anyone but me...but that's the beauty of it...I understand that concept totally. But again I say...(for the last time I promise) What kind of human would I have been to ignore it...A better American? No I don't think so...A better human? No I don't think that either. A more objective observer of photography? Ok..but I'd rather be able to sleep at night.


  43. We all know people die...that point has been beaten to death here and my point wasn't that we shouldn't see death. MY POINT was if we allow people to photograph death ecspecially of children WHO monitors where the photos came from? In other words. If Joe Psycho wants to create a screen name and put up a portfolio of dead children...Is there anyone who is going to question where he is finding these children and how these children are dying? Or are we all going to say..."7/7 great photos psycho!" Of course there will be one drip that would give him 1/1...OOOOOH in this case.. that would be ME!

  44. "Which foreign country responded to New Orleans being flooded? or Which country rallied donations from their average citizens when floods from the Mississippi wiped out farmlands in the central US? which other countries are aware of things like the Oklahoma bombing? Which other countries know what the klondike bar is named after?"
    Byron, lest you forget like so many of your fellow Americans, CANADA is a good neighbour... and like many other countries, comes to aid you in disaster recovery and war efforts. My country plays a much larger role in American disaster relief and recovery than you are aware, or so it sounds. Hundreds, perhaps thousands of Canadians are in your country right now, lending a helping hand after Katrina and Rita - if not physically in the midst of the relief efforts, then they're sending their money. And let's not forget that the Canadian Army is fighting alongside the US Army in the many "unfinished wars" across the globe that have been so hastily initiated by your president...
    Another fantastic thread btw... a great read. Thanks Laurie!
  45. And no, I don't live in an igloo ;-P
  46. "American media generally self-censor photos of the dead....."

    In reality they only censor photos of the American dead. At the time of the Iraq invasion
    there were no shortage of images of dead Iraqis in the US media - despite the hypocrisy of
    attacking AlJazeera for showing American dead. Mainstream American magazines are
    more scared of nudity than (foreign) death, I know of one image of an African famine
    victim that was rejected by one of the big two news magazines because you could see his

    "Ignorant foreigners say Americans are blind......"

    There are also quite a lot of smart and educated foreigners saying this.......
  47. Personally I didn't mean my reply as an attack against anyone particular, Laurie included. But I have to say, when one starts to think right away that the photographer could be some sort of psycho, it only shows how bad things are in the world. It really is quite sad, to say the least. Even psychos aside, why also by default assume the photographer has no permission from, say, relatives to take a photo of a dead person?

    In any case, no photographing dead people for me in the foreseeable future, but another concert to shoot today :)

    And as a side comment about the Katrina thing, from what I read in the media Canadian relief troops were in the Hurricane area long before official US relief troops. Kinda crazy.
  48. " But I have to say, when one starts to think right away that the photographer could be some sort of psycho,it only shows how bad things are in the world."

    Yes it does show how bad things are in the world. EXACTLY my point.

    "Even psychos aside, why also by default assume the photographer has no permission from, say, relatives to take a photo of a dead person?"

    And why assume that he/she does? Basically what I'm hearing is "Dont ask Dont tell"....VERY SCARY! Just asking or questioning a photograph doesn't hurt ANYTHING or ANYONE...but ignoring it and assuming everything is peachy is what has caused way too many children to die or be injured and allowed many a psycho to get away with murder. I certainly didn't accuse this photographer of anything in my original post. I just questioned the apporpriateness of the photo. I've probabley helped him quite a bit since I'm sure many of you have been there to check out his portfolio! :)
  49. Jeez Matt! How did CANADA get into this? Here we go again. I think most Americans in tune with geo-politics are well-aware of Canada's contributions to US aid and economy. . .and especially MILITARY cooperation; just as you're aware of ours to yours.
  50. "Which other countries know what the klondike bar is named after?"

    The GREAT WHITE NORTH, of course! :)
  51. I have a hard time thinking of Canadians and Mexicans as foreigners. With NAFTA it is really almost like one big country (the US gets the benefits of that one though). you don't even need a passport to get to either place. I was very broad in my generalizations, that was my bad. No Offense meant to Canada, I like Canada, and I don't think any of you live in igloos, though that would be cool if you did. but I think it would have to be a little colder for them to last. and no offense to Mexico either.
  52. The State Department said offers of help had been received from:
    Australia, Austria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Belgium, Canada, China, Colombia, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, France, Germany, Guatemala, Greece, Guyana, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Paraguay, Philippines, Portugal, South Korea, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovakia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela.
    International organizations also offered help ranging from medical teams to tents to cash donations. They include NATO, the Organization of American States, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, and the World Health Organization.
    LAREDO, Texas (AP) -- A Mexican army convoy began crossing into the United States on Thursday to bring aid to victims of Hurricane Katrina. Carrying water treatment plants and mobile kitchens that can feed 7,000 people daily, the convoy bound for San Antonio is the first Mexican military unit to operate on U.S. soil since 1846. The first green tractor-trailers, with Mexican flags attached to the tops of their cabs, crossed the international bridge at Laredo at about 8:15 a.m. The rest of the 45-vehicle convoy was in a staging area on the U.S. side in about 15 minutes.

    Still wondering why the stereotype of ignorant american exists?
  53. I never said I was an abnormal American. I listen to the same news channel everybody else in this country watches. I did hear (very briefly, though) about other countries offering help for Katrina. I will retract that question. it was late and I was on a rant. but now do you see what I mean when you hear people from other countries making generalizations about your country?
  54. I was too abrasive, sorry; I just wonder how many people think the same, and how much of this lack of knowledge is actively promoted at the news level.

    How much the downplaying of things that don't jive with the idea of 'fortress america, alone in a sea of enemies' is being actively promoted, and if so, by whom?
  55. Laurie. It's me. The dead child.

    I'm so sorry.

    This picture was shooted in 1992. I was 19 years old. I posted
    that picture thinking in the strong contrast of light.

    The picture was posed. Sorry for not tell it.

    and... thank you. Like I said: "Any comment will be good".

    Picturing it's about feelings...

    For those who want to see the picture as curiosity, check my

  56. I didn't leave a comment, but if I did I would say overall it is a horrible photo: out of focus, bad exposure, way blown highlights. Nothing good to say actually. Sort of like something from an ultra-low budget, no quality control, B&W movie.
  57. The photo that inspired the thread here - it's interesting in a disturbing way. Easy to see why someone would think it was real, easier still to imagine someone alarmed and questioning about it. I commend Laurie. I far prefer her reaction than the reaction of somone who doesn't even stop to think and just views it as they would a photo of the family pet, or the company picnic. It's easy to critique the photo now that we know it's not real and there's no discomfort over it. Not so easy should you come upon it unaware it's posed and having spent a happy length of time viewing "birds and flowers." I believe the photo has some merit - I think it could do well in certain circumstances, and in a "documentary" framework. Presented as an aged/damaged photo, perhaps taken by a long ago family member with a primitive camera under difficult lighting situation. It works on that level. Something raw, and with more of an emotional effect than pure technique. As to the rest of the debate - well, I think I'll let that go. Just got home from a long day at work, and I was ranting all the way. Too tired now to start again :)
  58. Some folks wont let a small thing like being dead stop them from enjoying life!
  59. Hey how did you get a photo of my ex husband? Great shot though must have given him a makeover too? :)

    Too funny!

  60. Oliver,
    Thank you for coming here! I hope you know that my feelings about the photo had nothing to do with you as a photographer as much as they had to do with my fears as a human! I'm very relived that the "dead child" is really alive and well! :)

  61. "Magic is over when you know how they do the trick..."
  62. "Many of the great photographers have photos of dead children in these books. It's not something to be disturbed by."

    Do you have kids, Jeff?
  63. There is an actual photo of a deceased child on this site or at least there was. It was a couple looking over the body of their child in a casket at the child's funeral. Obviously, it was different than the one mentioned in this thread. Maybe I'm desensitized but I dont find death something that should be hidden in the closet. I'm more offended by this thread than the thought of a dead child having his/her photo taken and the photographer displaying it. More to life than the pretty parts people.
  64. Every photo should not be of flowers and "nice" things. This one made you stop in your tracks - It did the job intended.
  65. Laurie; Most likely my comment won't make any difference. This discussion, this tangent... Just want to let you know, I understand where you were coming from. Your question shouldn't have harmed anyone. But there was a possibility something deviant was happening. Inaction, then, would have allowed it to go un-noticed. Your courage is applauded. ~
  66. Thank you Charlene...This one post made it all worthwhile! Now I know someone out there understood! :)

  67. I think I need to puke.
  68. I'm so sorry your not feeling well...
  69. I may be wrong about his, but I belive there is a holiday in Madagascar (or is it Mauritainia) in which once a year families dig up their dead ancestors, clean the bodies, dress them in new clothing, hold a big feast and sit the dead at the table to "eat" with them. Different cultures, different attitudes. Anyone else heard of this?
  70. Yes I sure have! I can't remember the country exactly but I know that it's a very big deal.
  71. Edward, u are right, it's Madagascar, although there are similar ceremonies in some part of Indonesia. Malagasy disinter the body of the deceased after the skin has rotted away. The skin on the body signifies the liminal (threshold) state; neither alive nor in the spirit world yet. After being washed, the bones are brought to a place that the deceased used to enjoy when in life. Bones are then returned to the grave for good, the spirit has now gone to the other world.
  72. I agree with John Crosely, Vivek, and others.

    The censorship of life and death is basically stupid in my view.
    it leads to misunderstanding, and fear, people never confront reality and as a result believe in things which have never existed, but hey, that's 88% of the U.S. population!

    I am of the other 12% and fortunately do not reside in fortress U.S.

  73. "I think that the intolerance and puritanism endemic to American society should be addressed."

    A society has the right to set their moral tone with or without your permission.
  74. "I remember my late uncle telling me about what now has become a famous hanging in a central park in downtown San Jose, of a man (or was it two?) taken from jail and strung up in a very old and strong tree by an angry crowd after it was quite clear they had kidnapped the child of a department store owner and been caught red-handed. My uncle was from another generation, and that (otherwise) gentle and well-educated man was happy to have been there to have witnessed such an event."

    That was the Hart's.
  75. Just a thought, maybe one shouldn't go around kidnapping people, bashing their heads in with a concrete block and then expect civil treatment.

    "They fessed up to murdering Brooke with a piece of concrete, and indicated where they had dropped the body into the San Francisco Bay. The body was found seventeen days later."

    Here's a different version.

    "From there they drove Hart to the old San Mateo bridge that crossed San Francisco Bay. They bound him, threw him off the bridge hoping to drown him but, when they realized the tide was out and there were only a few inches of water covering the mud, they shot him."

Share This Page