November 11, 2011

Photo essay education

there are a bajillion photo essay websites, but the 2 that i follow are In Focus and The Big Picture. (i've posted their photos before) They collect AP photos from all over the world, on a vast array of topics and events, and arrange them into a cohesive, informative essay. i find them both quite educational, and 2 photos & their accompanying stories recently jumped out at me.

This is from a series of historical photos about the aftermath of WWII. the photo's not particularly remarkable, but check out the story:

In March of 1974, some 29 years after the official end of World War II, Hiroo Onoda, a former Japanese Army intelligence officer, walks out of the jungle of Lubang Island in the Philippines, where he was finally relieved of duty. He handed over his sword (hanging from his hip in photo), his rifle, ammunition and several hand grenades. Onoda had been sent to Lubang Island in December of 1944 to join an existing group of soldiers and hamper any enemy attacks. Allied forces overtook the island just a few months later, capturing or killing all but Onoda and three other Japanese soldiers. The four ran into the hills and began a decades-long insurgency extending well past the end of the war. Several times they found or were handed leaflets notifying them that the war had ended, but they refused to believe it. In 1950, one of the soldiers turned himself in to Philippine authorities. By 1972, Onoda's two other compatriots were dead, killed during guerrilla activities, leaving Onoda alone. In 1974, Onoda met a Japanese college dropout, Norio Suzuki, who was traveling the world, and through their friendship, Onoda's former commanding officer was located and flew to Lubang Island to formally relieve Onoda of duty, and bring him home to Japan. Over the years, the small group had killed some 30 Filipinos in various attacks, but Onoda ended up going free, after he received a pardon from President Ferdinand Marcos.

uh, what? i love learning crazy little stories like this.

this one is from an ongoing series about Afghanistan and the military involvement there. the caption:

Aziz Ahmad, 25, who believes he has mental problems, is chained to a wall during his 40-day incarceration at the Mia Ali Baba Shrine in Jalalabad on October 11, 2011. It is believed that 40 days in chains and a diet of bread and water at the 300-year old shrine can cure mentally ill people. Ahmad was chained by the shrine keeper at the request of his family.

i know stuff like this still happens, but it never ceases to amaze me. the composition of the photo definitely helps tell the story.

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