what undermines the jump from affect to effect, as much as we empathize for one dazed child, is how the photo fails to situate us to setting or place.
Omran and Alan: The Limits of the Photo of the Wounded Aleppo Boy
Reading The Pictures

To me the contrast between bright orange and ash grey is what makes this photo effective. That we don’t see a broader setting matters less than the graphic power of THE timeless war image — a wounded and shell shocked child — transposed onto a clean, contemporary surface. That the former is basically rendered in black and white, and the later with a saturated, glaring orange hue, underscores that this happening now, and not too far away.

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