Ian Rolls – Unit 3 Post 3- Sontag and Gourevitch Connections

In Chapter four of Regarding the Pain of Others, Sontag discusses how photos of dead/dying individuals are more widely spread when the subject is not white. She talks about how “the more remote or exotic the place, the more likely we are to have full frontal views of the dead and dying” (70). The farther and more exotic the place, the more differences we can see between us and the subject. Sontag discusses how photos of American soldiers dying always have their faces blurred, or disfigured, so the viewer cannot make out a distinct person. However if the subject does not look like the viewer, it is easier to view a direct photo of a dead person. Gourevitch talks about how Americans faced away during the Rwandan genocide, but had lots of photography about the fleeing Hutus, the Cholera outbreak, and the dead bodies that were being cleared in the aftermath. Gruesome, personal images were widely produced in America because Americans had little to no connection with the murdered Tutsis.

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