Images trigger empathy; to perceive tragedy, we need to see the victim.
Photographs trigger empathy; to perceive tragedy, we need to see the victim. The effect is curiously more profound when we see the image of a single victim: While one death is a tragedy, a million deaths are a statistic.
The photo that emerged overnight of a bloodied 5-year-old boy, wounded in an air strike in Aleppo and rescued by the White Helmets, feels hauntingly familiar.
It seems to be having the same effect as the first picture to break the heart of the world: that of Aylan Kurdi, a drowned 3-year-old boy lying face-down with his soaked red shirt and blue bottoms.
With the image Kurdi, the world saw the war as real people risking their lives in faint hopes of one day reaching safe land.
Now, designers/activists are hoping to tap into an international craze to reach masses with striking messages from kids in war-torn Syria — using Pokémon characters.