Last summer, an image showing the body of a 3-year-old boy corpse washed up on the Bodrum coast broke the hearts of people all around the world resulting in actions of volunteers who showed up to feed and shelter new arrivals. However, it seems that images from the latest tragedy, which also included the bodies of children, failed to generate the same level of shock.
A boat sank on Turkey’s coast last Saturday, killing at least 37 people including babies and other young children, but people’s reaction towards this tragic event are not even close to the reaction Aylan Kurdi’s picture generated.
“The public seems to be kind of immunized. They don’t want to see it anymore,” said Melissa Fleming, spokeswoman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.
She said that people react very strongly to individual stories and as Kurdi was a single boy on the beach looking like anybody’s son or little brother in a sleeping position it triggered people’s compassion, but as boats arrive on Europe’s shores daily, or sink on the way making the situation more habitual it seems that sensitivities are fading away.
Kurdi’s picture caused reaction in both personal and government level, volunteers from Britain to Greece showed up to feed and shelter new arrivals, on a policy level it urged leaders to act and some European Union’s states took in refugees.
But now another ship heading to Turkey’s coast capsized off on Saturday resulting in the dead of 37 people including babies and other young children and the media respond seems to not giving it the proper attention. The new images saw minimal exposure in countries like France, Germany, Italy, the Nordic countries and Poland.
Some people are speaking out, for instance, Greek soccer players held a sit-in solidarity protest after the latest refugee drownings. Artist Ai Weiwei, wanting kinder migrant policies, re-enacted Aylan’s death.
Source: The New York Times