Friday, July 08, 2005

Look Into The Camera Eye

What you see is not always what you should if you take a moment and look at the photograph slowly. In the above photograph you see onlookers, you see participants, you see the curious, and you see the bothered.


Onlookers are one of the crucial factors in any disaster or crisis situation when they want or demand to take part. A traffic incident will attract those that want to see something terrible, they want to see something they can talk about, they want to share something with someone else and be the only one who saw it. An onlooker can get you killed.


Participants are those who were involved in the situation but feel they no more about handling the situation because they were there instead of those who were trained to deal with the situation. Sometimes you can see it in their eyes or in their face as they try to hide a proud smile or a glint in their eye by knowing they were apart of something not many others were not.


The difference in onlookers and the curious is that the curious will become involved, they will get in the way of the victims, the professionals who are there to handle the situation, save lives, etc. When told to move back or to clear the area will resist sometimes violently the restriction of their ability to take part or to experience the situation. Onlookers drive by generally, and the curious get out of the car and walk over.


No matter what police, firemen, medical workers will say after an incident about their courage in handling the situation or being a part of it they will not tell you that in the moment they were sometimes truly bothered by having to take part. Because they have experienced the same kind of situation before or other crisis they feel that they and only they know the proper way to conduct them and will resist any logical advice in how to do so. This is not always true but on the whole it is common.

This photograph like many others of the incident in London remind us that however bad this carnage is, it takes place every single day in Iraq.

- Chris Mansel

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