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| p.1 #16 · The photo that broke a motherís heart. |
What does this photo symbolize to you?
What are the emotions it elicits?
Why is it heartbreaking?
Is it because of his condition? Is it because we see him in the wheelchair and know all of the things in life that this child will miss, and we can't imagine missing these things ourselves? Is it pity, in other words. This child wants to be a part of the group, is leaning toward the group earnestly in an attempt to be a part, perhaps believing himself to be the same as the other kids, while we, the viewer, clearly see that he is not the same, that the photographer has failed to hide this fact from us, has instead only made it more obvious. Thus the anger at the photographer.
But we don't know anything about this child other than his physical disability. We've made assumptions that he needs our protection above all else, that he's fragile, a victim, that we must pretend as if his physical difference doesn't exist to prevent him from feeling separated or different, and in effect, we confirm subliminally that he is less of a person, less capable of accepting the reality that is his alone.