When Mary Panzer saw the photos that have at least momentarily focused world attention on a long-term tragedy, she wondered about what the images didn’t make clear.
She wondered about the partial story they told.
Panzer, a New York photography expert, curator and historian, was troubled “that we don’t see pictures of the mothers. This makes it seem as if their parents have abandoned them, deliberately put them in danger, which is partly true. But why did they do it?”
“To escape unendurable conditions? Where are they coming from? What did they leave? Why have they no resources better than a boat that’s sure to sink?” asked Panzer, the former curator of photographs at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.
But the photos also were consistent with a long history of gripping photos of children, she notes, especially as they attract attention to atrocities. Read more