A photograph can capture a moment and preserve it forever. These photos from throughout history highlight some of the most stunning, heart-wrenching, amazing and brutal pieces of the world we live in.
1) Protest in Saigon
“The Tunisian man, an unemployed college graduate with children to feed, had tried finding work hawking vegetables, but was thwarted by police, who confiscated his cart. So in a grisly act of protest and anguish, Bouazizi doused himself in gasoline and set himself ablaze.”
2) Nuclear Bomb Test
“In the wake of World War II, in a move closely related to the beginnings of the Cold War, the United States of America decided to resume nuclear testing in the Pacific Ocean, on Bikini Atoll in the Marshall archipelago. After the displacement of the local inhabitants, 67 nuclear tests were carried out from 1946 to 1958, including the explosion of the first H-bomb (1952). Bikini Atoll has conserved direct tangible evidence that is highly significant in conveying the power of the nuclear tests, i.e. the sunken ships sent to the bottom of the lagoon by the tests in 1946 and the gigantic Bravo crater. Equivalent to 7,000 times the force of the Hiroshima bomb, the tests had major consequences on the geology and natural environment of Bikini Atoll and on the health of those who were exposed to radiation. Through its history, the atoll symbolises the dawn of the nuclear age, despite its paradoxical image of peace and of earthly paradise. This is the first site from the Marshall Islands to be inscribed on the World Heritage List.”
3) The 2013 Factory Collapse in Bangladesh
“This image, while deeply disturbing, is also hauntingly beautiful. An embrace in death, its tenderness rises above the rubble to touch us where we are most vulnerable. By making it personal, it refuses to let go. This is a photograph that will torment us in our dreams. Quietly it tells us. Never again.”
Shahidul Alam, photographer
4) Love During The 2011 Stanley Cup Riots
“The couple were trying to get out of the downtown area, following the Vancouver Canucks’ Game 7 Stanley Cup loss to the Boston Bruins, when they were caught in the massive riot…Thomas fell during the mayhem and Jones embraced her on the ground to comfort her…The couple are still an item and are now living in Australia.”
5) Falling Man
“Never has a tragedy been captured in as much depth and breadth like September 11, 2001. As newspapers published shocking images from the most photographed and videotaped day in history, some were deemed too awful, too confronting for the public to face…Will we ever know who the Falling Man is? It’s unlikely. But what we do know is the need to confront this picture and acknowledge the bravery of those souls who had no other choice, who experienced the horror of September 11 in its fullest form, and who need to be remembered, not struck from the record.
“Marine Sergeant Frank Praytor leans against sandbags in a foxhole. The soldier softly holds a kitten he has named “Miss Hap.” The kitten gets that name because Praytor says she was born at the wrong place at the wrong time. The kitten was left an orphan after another soldier killed its mother for making too much noise. “Miss Hap” had a sister but another soldier who adopted it, rolled over in his sleep and killed it by accident. Praytor’s kitten survived and eventually found its way home to the US with another soldier after Praytor was shipped out.”
7) The Kiss of Life
“Taken in 1967 by Rocco Morabito, this photo called “The Kiss of Life” shows a utility worker named J.D. Thompson giving mouth-to-mouth to co-worker Randall G. Champion after he went unconscious following contact with a Low Voltage line. They had been performing routine maintenance when Champion brushed one of the low voltage lines at the very top of the utility pole. His safety harness prevented a fall, and Thompson, who had been ascending below him, quickly reached him and performed mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. He was unable to perform CPR given the circumstances, but continued breathing into Champion’s lungs until he felt a slight pulse, then unbuckled his harness and descended with him on his shoulder. Thompson and another worker administered CPR on the ground, and Champion was moderately revived by the time paramedics arrived, eventually making a full recovery.
What’s even more incredible is Champion not only survived this thanks to Thompson, but he lived an extra 35 years. He died in 2002 at 64 years old. Thompson is still alive today.”
For more historical images that awe and inspire, see the video below:
Featured image via Imgur