20 Photographs That Showcase The Past

“Photographs open doors into the past, but they also allow a look into the future,” — Sally Mann

It is not astonishing to claim that a common man possesses the competency to react to a photograph. Despite me not having penchant towards photography, I do comprehend images… how they can make us feel, react, and change. Quite a lot of photographs over a sustained period of time have had a sagacious sway on society as a whole. Following 20 photographs are few among those that showcase the past.

1. Partition of India- Mountbatten Plan
In the mayhem following the Mountbatten Plan, between 2 to 5 million people were murdered in the punitive massacre among the religions. UNHCR figured out that over 14 million Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs were relocated all through the partition; it was the major mass migration in human history.

“Over 10 million people emptied from their motherland and traversed on foot, bullock carts and trains to their promised new home.” – Photo: Wikipedia

2. Mushroom Clouds

This photograph apprehends the disaster made by the little boy and fat man, the nuclear bombs that were plunged on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Death toll was about 2 million due to this nuclear attack.

Atomic bomb mushroom clouds over Hiroshima (left) and Nagasaki (right) – Photo : Wikipedia

3. Child and the Vulture

This photograph clicked by Kavin Carter portrays the sardonic behavior of a photographer to capture the Sudanese child being stalked by a vulture in the dearth struck Sudan in 1993.

Carter’s Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph, March 1993 – Photo: Wikipedia

4. Never to forget 9/11 attack

The 9/11 attacks were a series of four consecutive suicide attacks by al-Qaeda on the Uncle Sam on the morning of Tuesday, September 11, 2001 to destroy the symbolic landmarks of the nation.

9 11 – World Trade Center Attack – Photo: youtube.com

5. The Plight of Kosovo refugees 

The photograph is chunk of The Washington Post’s Pulitzer Prize-winning entry (2000) showcasing how a Kosovar refugee Agim Shala, a 2 year toddler, is passed into the hands of grandparents through a barbed wire fence at a refugee camp run by UAE in Kukes, Albania. The members of the Shala family were reunited here after fleeing the conflict in Kosovo.

Photo: quora.com

6. The Fiery Buddhist Monk

In the busy junction of Saigon, June 1963, Thich Quang Duc, a Buddhist monk from Vietnam, self-immolated to withhold the oppressive canons of the Catholic Diem regime and to put forth the demands to lift its ban on hovering the traditional Buddhist flag, to treat Buddhism the same as Catholicism and to give Buddhist monks and nuns the right to practice and spread their religion.

The Buddhist Monk – Photo : quora.com

7. Migrant Mother

This image of a working woman who had just sold her car’s tires to feed her seven children came to represent the Depression and the Dust Bowl in the popular imagination.

The Migrant Mother – Photo: neatorama.com

8. On the outset of an End

What else can illustrate the relief Americans felt at the dusk of World War II than this classic photograph of a sailor grabbing a nurse into his arms for a lip lock when signalled that the war had ceased.

The Kiss – Photo: neatorama.com

9. The Pride Flag

Supporters of gay marriage swayed the rainbow flag at Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., after the U.S. Supreme Court lined on 26th June 2015 that the U.S. Constitution offers same-sex couples the right to marry.

Photo: Times of India

10. It was Neil Armstrong

Yes, it was Neil Armstrong who did Moon Walk for the first time. In March 1969, Neil Armstrong landed on Moon to write his in the history of mankind.

Photo: Wikipedia.com

11. Lynching in the Public

Lawrence Beitler, the photographer of this ironic photograph had stay up for 10 days and nights printing them to meet its demand in the market. The photo shows the retribution given by the white to a pair of black men alleged to rape a white woman.

Photo: Wikipedia.com

12. Afghan Girl

12 year Sharbat Gula, the Afghan girl within the refugee camp grabbed the opportunity to be photographed by National Geographic photographer Steve McCurry. She made it on the cover of National Geographic next year, and she came to limelight in 1992.

Photo: Wikipedia.com

13. The Ravenous Uganda

In this picture captured by Mike Wells, a victim’s hand has been held in unconditional love by an worker of the charitable organization in the drought hit Uganda in 1980.

Starving boy – Photo: all-that-is-interesting.com

14. The Bhopal Tragedy

In 1984 an explosion that incurred at Pesticide factory bruised about half a million people and 15 thousand died by invading of Aisosayanaid toxic gas. This very photograph shot by Pablo Bartholomew melts the hearts of every human being.

Photo: Wikipedia.com

15. Aftermath Tsunami

The Tsunami of 2004 is one among the most disastrous and powerful seismic activity in recorded history where the death toll of more than a quarter of a million, local economies ruined and the lives of entire communities traumatised.

Photo: Wikipedia.com

16. The Last Jew in Vinnitsa

This photograph was found in the private album of an Einsatzgruppen soldier. It was written on the back “The last Jew of Vinnitsa”. About 28,000 of the Jews existing in Vinnitsa, Ukraine were killed at the time.

The_last_Jew in_Vinnitsa
Photo: Wikipedia.com

17. Facing the Death – Tiananmen Square

Perhaps the most famous picture from the student rebellion in China in 1989, this snapshot shows a single person obstructing the tanks that were emerging on the square.

Photo: Wikipedia.com

18. Assassination of a Viet Cong Guerrilla

Eddie Adams, an American photographer clicked this photograph of a Viet Cong captain being executed by Nguyen Ngoc Loan, South Vietnam’s national police chief.

The Assassination of a Viet Cong – Photo: Wikipedia.com

19. Kim, a run away from bereavement

9 year old Kim, running naked in the cenre of this photograph was injured seriously on her back in napalm attack. This photo by Huynh Cong Ut famed to be the most published of the Vietnam war,1972 as it echoes a run to live.

Kim runs away from death – Photo: Wikipedia

20. The Corpse of Che Guevara

When catching and murdering Che Guevara, a Marxist revolutionist, the Bolivian military force in 1967 revealed this photo as an evidence of his death. Guevara’s demise gave a death blow to the then socialist revolutionary movement in both Latin America and the Third World.

Corpse of Che Guevara – Photo: all-that-is-interesting.com

Author Bio

Sahul Pramod Varakala


Sahul, a newbie with creative thoughts, novel ideas and fecund imagination. His hobbies include drawing, editing photographs and writing poetry. Apart from this, he loves reading and finds pleasure in friendship. His attitude towards life is “Preach what you Practise.”


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