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25 AUGUST 2016

Matt Roper

Disclaimer time – this is not a normal Eyeful blog. There will be no mention of presentations or even a call to action from me.

This article is about the raw emotion and power of imagery.

Recently it was World Photography Day which I hadn’t realised was coming up. And as soon as I did, I thought how appropriate it was that this day should fall when there is one image that’s been making waves around the world, featuring on every news channel, newspaper and social media feed possible…

The image is of course that of Omran Daqneesh the dazed and bloodied Syrian boy whose home was hit by a bomb during the conflict.

This captured moment of him sitting in an ambulance so calmly, probably unable to process what’s happened to him, has become a global symbol of the un-humanitarian conflict happening in Aleppo and other areas of Syria. It’s an emphatic example of the power images can have.

The Telegraph describes the terrible situation that’s happening right now…

“The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights estimates that 142 children have been killed in Aleppo in August alone. Around 50,000 children are believed to have died across the country during the last five years of fighting although exact figures are impossible to calculate.”

But it’s this picture of Omran, one small innocent boy that is resonating with the world and driving home the both the true story of what’s happening, as well as the political angle in edited versions such as this one…

It doesn’t matter how many TV News shows you watch, how many newspapers you read, or how many social media feeds you scan – this one image of an innocent little boy says it all.

I’m no expert on what’s going on in Syria, but just by seeing this image I have a raw emotional connection with it.

I’m a dad and my little boy Jack is not much younger than Omran, Jack is always wearing shorts and T-Shirt and often doesn’t have a smile for photo’s – so remove the blood and dust from Omran and that could well be a picture of my little man.

And that’s what hits home to me and everybody else. To just imagine for one moment a little boy just like my son, looking like this, hurt, injured, traumatised and still in danger, is beyond awful and gives me a great feeling of empathy with the fear and horror of this little boy’s own parents.

This emotion drives me to a level of anger and a political opinion of why are world leaders and our own government not stopping this awful situation from happening?

This is the power of the picture.