ME and Ophelia

Monday, August 23, 2004


A mother held her ill daughter at a Doctors Without Borders MSF clinic near Nyala, Sudan, where violence and disease are killing tens of thousands.


Photo credit: Evelyn Hockstein/Polaris/CARE. Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

Excerpt from the Passion of the Present: "Bich Ngoc Cao, artist and activist, has been working to assemble images of Darfur as a way of mobilizing action to stop the genocide. Bich Ngoc has sifted through many images.

The single most compelling image is that of a dying child, which was featured in a front page story on Sudan in the Sunday New York Times on July 18, 2004. Above is the image, one of many made by photographer Evelyn Hockstein.

Bich Ncog Cao attempted to license non-commercial rights to this image because she believes this image will make a difference to Sudan if it is very widely seen.

Other images have changed the consciousness of the world. Remember how the anti-Apartied movement in South Africa was galvanized by the photo from Soweto of a dead boy in the arms of a caring crowd?

CARE--the organization--refused to license us the rights to this photo because they argue that the photo is too graphic and the child, being naked, is too exposed. Our own view is that genocide itself is too graphic, and its victims too exposed. And in any case, this image has already graced the cover of the Sunday New York Times, with a circulation of well over a million copies in physical form, and the image is available now at the New York Times online.

´┐╝If you happen to know Evelyn Hockstein or others at CARE, Jim would appreciate your help in urging them to see their way clear to license the image to us. On the other hand, if you think we are going too far in wanting to circulate this image widely, let us hear from you, too. Thanks for your help."
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Britain stands ready to provide further assistance if necessary

Sudan is a former British protectorate. Britain is the world's largest cash donor, and the second-largest contributor of aid, to Sudan. It's historic ties with Sudan stretch back more than a century to when the region was under British control.

Today, British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw is on his way to Sudan to pile pressure on Khartoum. On leaving Heathrow Airport, he told reporters that the Sudanese government would "face the opprobrium of the world" if it failed to rein in the Arab Janjaweed militia by the UN security council deadline of August 30. His trip has been planned since July 22, 2004.

Rest of the story is at my new blog Sudan Watch. Note I published a copy of the full post at Passion of the Present today where there are updates on the AU and peace talks being held today in Nigeria.

# posted by Ingrid J. Jones @ 8/23/2004
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