Sunday, July 8, 2012
Omayra Sanchez: The Eyes Photographed by Frank Fournier
Posted by Jay at 10:05 AM
This haunting image shows 13 year old Omayra Sánchez neck-deep in flood water and debris caused by 1985 eruption of the Nevado del Ruiz volcano in Armero, Colombia. Her pasty-white shriveled hands and bloodshot eyes are the result of nearly 60 hours of exposure, having been trapped in the same position since the lahar and melted ice-cap water reached her town. She died a few hours after this image was taken.
The photograph was made by Frank Fournier, a photojournalist, and was almost immediately surrounded by controversy when it was published. Some criticized the photographer for acting like a vulture, preying on the victims with his camera, but Fournier defended his actions saying that he believed it was his duty to report on "the courage and the suffering and the dignity of the little girl". The image, titled the "Agony of Omayra Sánchez", won the World Press Photo in 1985, just one of the haunting images captured by Fournier that day and included in his entry for Spot News stories.
Wikipedia has a good entry about Omayra Sánchez and the photographed captured by Frank Fournier if you want to know more.