News and breaking stories regarding the ongoing conflict in Gaza between Israel and Palestine is, and rightly so, inescapable. The conflict is nothing new, as truly it’s been brewing for eons. There are times when there are flairs and this happens to be one, and never are they anything but horrible and unsettling. While most rhetoric in reference to it tends to fall into either political banter, propaganda, and or news updates, there are also the humanitarian pieces that seem to restore a sense of faith in humanity among the atrocities. This is one such.
Harold Henden, is a veteran photojournalist from Norway, and among the brave who put themselves in the middle of the war zone to document first hand what’s going on. Just days ago while reporting, he and his team was witness to an Israeli strike not far from Gaza’s port. Near that site, there was a young Palestinian child injured by the strike. Henden puts aside his vocation and steps in to assist and treat the child before he could be brought to medics – medics he carried the boy to. The whole occurrance was captured in the video below.
It’s nice to see some small piece of good human nature and affection come from what is a deteriorating and poor situation. Interesting to see, is the moment after just having handed the boy to paramedics and watching them dress and move him to the ambulance, that Henden seems to momentarily lose composure. He then takes a second and a deep breath, as if to process what’s just transpired, and gets right back into photographic journalistic mode, and begins photographing the child he has just assisted.
Photographing the humanitarian atrocities across the globe, has always had a strange draw for me. While most everything we do has its market and necessity, there seems to be a sense of inherit nobility with subjecting one’s self to some of the worst the world has to offer, and then to covey that visually for those who can’t, or won’t see it. Whether to tell a story, deliver a message, of just report, there is a need for this sort of work.
It’s also mentally, emotionally, and physically taxing, and depending on how an image is taken, it can be thankless. Some photographers of this sort go through severe depression due to what they see, and some have taken their own life due to not being able to recover. Possibly the most famous example of this was the talented and Pulitzer-prize winning Kevin Carter. The South African, most noted for his image of a vulture watching a starving child in south Sudan in the early 90’s received criticism for not helping the child, though there are accounts that the photo conveys a situation that wasn’t there. So distraught was he, that he committed suicide months after receiving his award. His note mentioned being haunted by what he had seen. So, hats off to Henden and the likes.
Source: Petapixel, Images are screen caps from video