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Symbolic Picture - Colin Finlays Starving Child of Darfur - Essay Example

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 This essay discusses image such as Colin Finlay’s starving child of Darfur is intended to convey specific ideas. In this particular image, the photographer illustrates the desperate conditions of Darfur as well as the idea that it is possible to make a difference…
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Symbolic Picture - Colin Finlays Starving Child of Darfur
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Download file to see previous pages The black and white image depicts a black child in front of a wall made of irregular posts and straw. The child is caught in the act of splashing water over his head and the water is seen streaming down the child’s very skinny body and splashing in droplets in the foreground. To refer to the child as ‘he’ is a simplification made for discussion but is not necessarily actual truth. The child depicted has very short, close-shaved hair on his head and no clothing to designate gender. The photograph provides just the hint of a belly button at the bottom edge of the image, but no further indication is provided of gender or clothing. The child is wearing two strings of white beads, which could be an indication of female gender but could also be a sign of social status or wealth. The child also wears a hospital-style bracelet which could indicate that he has access to care beyond that of the average child.
There are a number of ways in which the image conveys the idea that the situation in Darfur is desperate. The background is stark, conveying a sense of a simple sand floor and poor building materials. The child is completely isolated in the image, with no sense that there is anyone else in the vicinity. This idea is reinforced by the closed eyes of the child-directed downward. The most eloquent statement in the image, though, is the extreme thinness of the child. Each individual rib can be counted, the arm joints are nearly skeletal in detail and the child’s hands seem too large for the rest of his frame.
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