Maria Meza, a 40-year-old migrant woman from Honduras, runs away from tear gas with her 5-year-old twin daughters in front of the border wall in Tijuana, Mexico.
Kim Kyung Hoon/Reuters
Each day, readers are bombarded with shocking, inspiring and informative images. In their overwhelming volume, they can be easily forgotten. Nonetheless, some do rise to the top.
This 1904 photograph showing the massacre of villagers by Dutch KNIL forces in the Indonesian village of Koetö Réh was used by the Dutch to argue for the paternalistic colonial state as protector. We now see it as evidence of imperial atrocity.
Collection Nationaal Museum van Wereldculturen.
From depictions of slavery to colonial massacres to contemporary portraits of refugees, photography is a powerful tool in evoking ideas of shared humanity.
How can photographers be more sensitive towards their subjects?
Feed My Starving Children (FMSC)
Images of famine or poverty are often used by human rights groups to galvanize support. And they often do. The ethics of these images is a more complex story.
Photos of beaming young asylum-seekers with their families aboard HMAS Adelaide in October 2001 told a completely different story to the government’s spurious ‘children overboard’ claims.
Courtesy Project SafeCom, Jack H Smit.
Images move us to act – as last week's episode of Four Corners has shown. Our government has gone to great lengths to suppress photos that humanise asylum seekers – but when they seep out, empathy is aroused.
An image by Nilufer Demir dominates news coverage.
Powerful images – like the one of Aylan Kurdi that flooded the Internet last week – can spark political change.