Home > nick ut, photojournalism, vietnam war > The girl in the picture

The girl in the picture

Just recently I linked to a gallery that included Nick Ut’s famous napalm girl photo. Today, I found a BBC radio feature on the girl in that picture, Kim Phuc, who now lives in Toronto.

It’s old news, but worth a listen. In particular, Kim Phuc’s experience of the trials associated with life as “the girl in the picture” cast light on the recent controversy surrounding Marco Vernaschi’s photo of a mutilated Ugandan boy.

People forget that a TV crew also recorded the scene as Kim Phuc fled that napalm attack; we remember the still photograph. That’s the peculiar power of photography. It creates icons, whiloe moving images fade from memory. And its ability to make icons out of people who may not wish to be icons is one of its problems.

How do you deal with the potential fallout of your photographs? Do you stop taking them?

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