The World Press Photo image: a photo to make us see what we no longer see | Ideas

The World Press Photo image: a photo to make us see what we no longer see | Ideas
The World Press Photo image: a photo to make us see what we no longer see | Ideas

Information flows often take us along predictable routes, but sometimes there are detours that throw us off. For example, a cayuco appears in Brazil. He passed by with a barge with 25 immigrants that set sail from Mauritania, heading to the Canary Islands, but went off the route and ended up on the other side of the Atlantic with nine bodies. He was supposed to go through the same thing as always: the rescue, the Africans on the dock with red blankets, the usual tragedy, now manageable. We know that others die, we imagine it, but there are no images. Until that boat that Europe is looking for ends up in America, already lifeless, without anyone, and points to a blind spot in our attention. She shouldn’t be there, she should be where she always is, in the Canary Islands or missing, invisible, but this time we have seen how she has ended up. And you wonder how many more we haven’t seen.

We didn’t see the Swiss ladies thing coming either, but this gives hope. That nothing happens in Switzerland is a cliché, already, here it is only news as a destination for independentists from Catalonia, where things happen all the time. Perhaps there these exiles enter a decompression zone where they discover the placidity of boredom, which can be a meeting point: there all the rest of us who are bored with this become brothers with them in a common feeling. For the rest, there is also a lot of inattention in this, because in reality I believe that many people outside of Catalonia, really, make a mess between SATURDAY and who are from Junts and who from Esquerra, and they even do not differentiate well between the parties themselves. . But we were talking about the Swiss ladies, who have managed to get the Strasbourg court to condemn their Government for not doing enough against climate change. It’s funny how this helps all the rest of us who do nothing, like the Swiss Government itself, feel good. Like when someone comes to ask for money in your subway car: if there is at least one person who gives them something, it leaves the rest of us with a clear conscience, as if they were representing everyone and those in that car had already complied.

In that story, however, there are ridiculous things. The first, that a court has to force the politicians of a country to do the most basic thing. The second thing, believe that this is going to happen. But the most surprising thing is that the case has prospered only because the plaintiffs were older women and, therefore, a group especially affected by the problem, and only they could demand it. That they have imposed this requirement is already a legal delusion in itself, if here in the end we can all agree: “No, you cannot file the lawsuit because in the event of a 48-degree heat wave you could survive.” These bureaucratic obstacles, which have been ignored in nine years, are one more example of blindness to the climate crisis.

And among everything that we no longer want to see every day, in this society of voyeurs, you stumble upon the winning image of the World Press Photo, and then you stop, and as if by magic, without any effort, your eyes open and the soul. When everything fails, only poetry has that last power. Sometimes someone puts their gaze right where it needs to be placed, and it makes any human being who sees it unable to take their eyes off it, although it represents something so terrible that it should have the opposite effect, looking away, but that photo in the that only one hand can be seen and everything else is covered, it is so delicate, so fragile, that it makes those eyes moisten instantly, because everything is understood, and everything hurts, and one would only want to join those two people, to hide like them, and disappear.

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