The photo montage as protest against forcible disappearances

There’s a remarkable phenomenon observable everywhere around the world that families of the tens of thousands who have been disappeared create photo montages of their beloved. Those montages remain central to protests by survivors for decades. It is a matter of the deceased haunting justice. There are still such displays in Spain going back to the Spanish civil war in the 1930s & they are still excavating mass graves from the dictatorship of General Franco.

Now activists are posting photos of Syrians disappeared by the Assad regime, some going back to the earliest days of the 2011 revolution. They are a very powerful & moving testimony because the crimes of the regime become personal.

Above all, we should never detach ourselves or take emotional distance from the suffering of other human beings. We can’t be laid waste by it or we’d soon all be basket cases. But we should always remain haunted by it as a guiding spirit.