War impact on children
Meiselas published a book on photography named ‘Nicaragua’ after spending thirteen months in observation, documentary and photography. With most of the photography work carried out from the uninflected middle distance, and with much of great details and long views eschewed, the photographer takes sides with the insurrectionists resisting authority. She, however, rides with insurrectionists into Managua following Somoza’s defeat who together with other rebels contributed to the mass killings of children. It is attributed that Somoza’s National Guard was, however, the major proponent in most killings involving defenseless children and other innocent civilians.
Members of Magnum photo agency such as Marc Ribound and Miss Meiselas have always taken a critic point of view as it regards the entrenched powers as well as the sympathetic rights of those downtrodden and oppressed. The major worrying thing about the photographs taken is that they are ambiguous despite the fact that the photographs and their captions have been separated. Mostly the captions are moved to the back of the book hence creating unpleasant consequences.
A closer look at the photographs, it is hard to tell who is fighting who and the motive behind the so displayed attack. What’s more disgusting is when inexperienced and uninformed soldiers are portrayed as firing life bullets behind a wall of sandbags. Many unanswered questions pop when these occurrences take place with the most intriguing one been if Meiselas had taken sides without prior notice.
Later she explains that the soldiers shown in the caption are in fact rebels. Subsequent captions clarify that the rebels as displayed in the photographs had appropriated their materials from a subdued garrison. Without any need for a language, it is; therefore, clear of the inherent ambiguity of the photos.
Meiselas, Susan, and Claire Rosenberg. Nicaragua, June 1978-July 1979. New York: Aperture Foundation, 2008.