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Newtown Prayer © Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images

Newtown Prayer © Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images

There’s a very interesting article on the NPR The Picture Show website exploring the issues raised by the public (press) recording of moments of grief. The responses to the article and subsequent discussion has been followed over in a separate post. Well worth a read.

On the night of the shootings in Newtown, Conn., a woman named Aline Marie attended a prayer vigil at St. Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church, which was packed with local residents and the media. After about 45 minutes, Marie saw the statue of Mary and knelt down to pray.

“I sat there in a moment of devastation with my hands in prayer pose asking for peace and healing in the hearts of men,” she recalls. “I was having such a strong moment and my heart was open, and I started to cry.”

Her mood changed abruptly, she says, when “all of a sudden I hear ‘clickclickclickclickclick’ all over the place. And there are people in the bushes, all around me, and they are photographing me, and now I’m pissed. I felt like a zoo animal.”

What particularly troubles her, she says, is “no one came up to me and said ‘Hi, I’m from this paper and I took your photograph.’ No one introduced themselves. I felt violated. And yes, it was a lovely photograph, but there is a sense of privacy in a moment like that, and they didn’t ask.”

Follow up links below:

Your Comments

This story has sparked a lot of comments. We’ve taken that conversation over to another blog post.

Follow Up.

Discussion: A public Photograph of a Private Grief

More articles from John Macpherson

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