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November 27, 2007

Coming Upon The Cage

Baghdad-Pet-Market

(click for full size)

I found Michael Kamber’s image, documenting the bombing in the Baghdad pet market last Friday, to be particularly moving.  (It is that much more poignant when compared to Joao Silva’s image in the same setting just a few days prior.)  Reporter Stephen Farrell’s story embodies the tempered sadness and disappointment of a reporter-narrator who had also just been there when the place was bustling.

(I’m sorry, too, that my post last Wednesday, questioning the media’s — and Farrell’s — impulse to trumpet Baghdad’s normalcy, proved prophetic.  In light of the shattered tanks in this square, using fish to make the point also seems twisted.)

So what is Baghdad coming to?  (Perhaps the photo begs the question, as two contrasting figures seem to be staring at, and converging upon the same point.)  If the man in all-black conveys an all-too-familiar depression and jadedness, the young girl’s expression and “carriage” suggests something lighter.  She gazes at that damaged cage as if whatever creature occupied it might somehow reappear if she were only to blink, then look again.

(revised 9:05 am PST)

(image: Michael Kamber for The New York Times.  Baghdad.  November 23, 2007.  nytimes.com)

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