Monday, February 28, 2005

Of all the resonant photographs I've seen in the last few years, this picture, taken by Reuter's Ali Abu Shish after today's bombing in Hilla, has to be just about foremost among them.

What makes the photograph so affecting is the banality of the action it captures -- a street-cleaner sweeping the street -- juxtaposed with the sheer horror of what he is sweeping, which is literally a river of blood.

Whose lives is he sweeping away?

And how in the world did their bomber come to the point where he no longer cared?


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