Susan Sontag, Regarding The Pain Of Others Quotes
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It is intolerable to have one's sufferings twinned with anybody else's.
To set their sufferings alongside the sufferings of another people was to compare them (which hell was worse?), demoting Sarajevo's martyrdom to a mere instance.
Compassion is an unstable emotion. It needs to be translated into action, or it withers.
With time, many staged photographs turn back into historical evidence, albeit of an impure kind - like most historical evidence.
In fact, there are many uses of the innumerable opportunities a modern life supplies for regarding - at a distance, through the medium of photography - other people's pain.
The memory of war, however, like all memory, is mostly local.
Photographs that depict suffering shouldn't be beautiful, as captions shouldn't moralize.
Making suffering loom larger, by globalizing it, may spur people to feel they ought to "care" more.
There is nothing wrong with standing back and thinking. To paraphrase several sages: 'Nobody can think and hit someone at the same time.
[O]ne person's 'barbarian' is another person's 'just doing what everybody else is doing.
Is there an antidote to the perennial seductiveness of war? And is this a question a woman is more likely to pose than a man? (Probably yes.)
To the militant, identity is everything.
To paraphrase several sages: Nobody can think and hit someone at the same time.
Narratives can make us understand. Photographs do something else: they haunt us.
Photographs objectify: they turn an event or a person into something that can be possessed.
No "we" should be taken for granted when the subject is looking at other people's pain.