21 October 2011

The Reality of the Libyan War

Biggest news today was the death of Gaddafi. I won't ramble on too much about his capture, the irony of how he called his people "rats" and was found hiding in a sewage pipe, or how he went from being one of the most powerful people on the planet to being slapped around and dragged like a rotten nobody minutes before his death.

No. Although today a lot of the world rejoices for Libya, I don't think most of us actually understand what the country has been through. Yes, a war, but the unbelievable images that have sprung up over the past few months tell a story of something incredibly scary. The majority of us have never experienced an actual war, and even if so, mostly on the 'lighter' side of things.

I've put together a series of shocking images that have been taken since the uprising started. We've been desensitized to this sort of imagery through movies, TV shows, cartoons and video games, and usually dismiss & forget about them minutes after we see them. Don't glance at them for a second each and scroll to the next; I want you to really look at them. Try and see what's going on there. Try to visualise yourself in those situations. They may look like something out of a 'Book of Eli' or some other post-apocalyptic movie, but remember that what you're looking at here is real, with no director sitting behind the camera shouting "Cut"!

We get too comfortable in our own lives and don't mentally accept what happens on the other side of the TV screen as 'real'. It feels too far away from us. That's usually why not enough support is gained for causes and catastrophes around the world, whether they're to protest against a war in Syria, raise funds to help a famine in Somalia, or any other cause; sure some may gather in protest/a fundraiser and go home thinking they did their part for the day. If we could see that this is all very real, we may think differently.

I didn't add any captions to the photos; they're not necessary, most images explain themselves. Just 'really' look at them (click for large size).

(PS. I didn't take any of these photos, just in case you were wondering, they're from various reporters and sites).