When you hear the term “Iconic photo” what images come to mind? It might be the Vancouver couple kissing during the madness of the 2011 Stanley Cup riots or the Afghan Girl cover on National Geographic. Regardless, the images I’m about to show represent a specific moment in time. Good or bad these images are iconic.
Wait For Me, Daddy – 1940
This image taken in October 1940 shows a young child running out of his mother’s hands towards his father in a lineup during a march on 8th Street in New Westminster, British Columbia. The image is seen as innocence in the wake of darkness. It has been seen worldwide and is now an iconic image of Canadian wartime.
V-J Day in Time’s Square – 1945
This image is arguably one of the most iconic images of all time. Taken in August of 1945 as soon as Japan surrendered in World War II, the image is supposed to capture the happiness of that day by showing 2 people kissing in the middle of celebrations in Time’s Square, New York. While the image has taken on a life of its own, it is interesting to note that the woman in the image has said she did not want to be kissed by the man and was simply grabbed in the heat of the moment. There’s some history for you.
The Agony of Omayra Sánchez – 1985
Omayra Sánchez was a young girl who died after a Volcanic Eruption destroyed her village in Colombia in 1985. Omayra was under water unable to get out due to house debris trapping her legs. She died 3 days later. The image of the young girl with black eyes serves as a reminder of the Colombian governments’ negligence with this and many other Volcanic eruptions throughout the country. A truly stunning image that will never be forgotten.
Tank Man – 1989
Everyone knows the image of the Tank Man. A symbol of resilience towards the Chinese government during the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, the image speaks volumes. Nobody knows what happened to the ‘Tank Man’ after the picture was taken. He could have died, been arrested of just be living somewhere in China. Still, the man gave us one of the most iconic images of a protest in history.
The Falling Man – 2001
This eerie image taken of a man jumping to his death during the September 11th attacks puts everything about that day into perspective. Throughout the chaos and agony of that terrible day, this man chose to jump to his death for reasons we will never know. So much was lost that day and this image reminds us that at the end of the day we are all just human.
Death of Alan Kurdi – 2015
The image of Alan Kurdi’s lifeless body on a beach in the Mediterranean Sea will forever be implanted in the minds of people. This image represents the struggle families have to face in order to give their children a better life. Alan was 3 years young and sadly lost his life. His image, however, will live on forever as a symbol of the Syrian refugee crisis.
These 6 images represent different moments in history. They serve to remind us of things we should continue or stop doing. Iconic images become iconic because we can see our human side through them. They tug at our heartstrings and remind us, we really aren’t all that different.