"This is photography as shock therapy"

When reflecting on the topics we have discussed this semester, I recognize that I am fascinated by the power of images to cause emotional reactions in response to people and places we don't even know. Susan Sontag focuses mainly on this theme and also the influence of the captions and commentary accompanying photographs in "Regarding the Pain of Others." "The Yellow Birds" and "What Every Person Should Know About War" are two other texts I have incorporated in order to help convey meaning and feeling. I have compiled these images and captions in an attempt to simply evoke viewers' emotions in the easiest way I know possible. These images are shocking and gruesome and I apologize in advance for any unwanted experiences while viewing this attempt at an online art gallery.        "A photograph has only one language and is destined potentially for all."    -Sontag                                                               

"One can't always make out the subject, so thorough is the ruin of flesh and stone they depict." -Sontag *I had hoped the music could have played throughout to evoke emotion.
in "What Every Person Should Know About War", Hedges questions, "Will it feel like a video game?”
"The shock of such pictures cannot fail to unite people of good will." -Sontag
This Hindu man is suffering of starvation due to famine. Had the caption told of a homeless drug abuser, responses to this picture would differ.
"Not to be pained by these pictures would be the reactions of a moral monster." -Sontag
"Look. the photographs say, this is what it's like. This is what war does." -Sontag
Is it possible to remain emotionless when looking at pictures like these?
“...the war came to me in my dreams and showed me its sole purpose: to go on, only to go on.” -Kevin Powers, "The Yellow Birds"
In "What Every Person Should Know About War," Hedges asks, "What will it be like to see dead bodies?" He answers, "You may be disgusted by the appearance and smell of the decaying flesh."
"Nothing's gonna happen to him, right? Promise that you'll bring him home to me." This is the promise Bartle made to Murph's mother without truly knowing he could do so.
“We were not destined to survive. The fact is, we were not destined at all. The war would take what it could get.” -The Yellow Birds
Susan Sontag says, "No 'we' should be taken for granted when the subject is looking at other people's pain."
"An army of shambling ghosts in rotted uniforms with mutilated faces, rise from their graves and set out in all directions." -Sontag
Credits: All media
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