Sometimes, when some individual, group, institution publishes, releases, leaks a cruel video of this planet’s conflicts, media decide not to show it or only show a (edited) screenshot.
I usually end up trying to find the uncut video on the internet because I naively believe I can better realize how cruel things are when I force myself to watch it.
So I constantly feel the need to defend my behavior against accusations of voyeurism and dehumanization: “Can’t you imagine the rest anyway? Haven’t you played video games and watched enough fictitious movies?”
A few months ago I bought the photo book “War Porn” by Christoph Bangert (a photo journalist in war regions). The photos are somewhere between disturbing and disgusting.
Bangert also covers the aspect of self-censorship as a photographer or publisher, hence for some of the pages you have to decide yourself whether to break the perforation to see the image included on that page.
The book’s introduction puts it into simple words that I could not find myself:
“What’s the point of showing these things? We know that wars and disasters are horrible events. But are we really aware of just HOW horrible they are? Yes? Why are we so shocked by these pictures, then?”