Tribute to Michel du Cille: may he RIP

Cynthia:Redemption Hospital (Michel du Cille) Dec 15 2014

This little girl named Cynthia is waiting for dead bodies to be removed from Redemption Hospital in Monrovia, Liberia so she can be admitted & treated for Ebola. The critical ward of Redemption Hospital, with plastic-covered mattresses shoved against each other on the floor, looks more like a renovated chicken coop than an epidemic treatment center.

Some of the most human & moving images of the epidemic, including the image of 11-year-old Esther Tokpah who was orphaned & this of Cynthia, were taken by Michel du Cille, a renowned photojournalist for the Washington Post. The humanity of his work is reminiscent of Muhammed Muheisen, the photojournalist who powerfully captures Afghan refugee children in Pakistan & also works in other conflict areas.

Michel du Cille died on Thursday while on assignment in Liberia, not from Ebola but from a heart attack. In October, after undergoing a 21-day quarantine for Ebola, he was disinvited from speaking to photojournalist students at Syracuse University in New York. He denounced this hysteria in a Post article. But of course, much of the hysteria has been created in the media, not unlike the early days of HIV.

We should take a moment to honor du Cille for his work helping to humanize the catastrophes of neoliberal healthcare & helping us understand what needs to be done in solidarity.

(Photo by Michel du Cille/Washington Post/Getty Images)

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