My last post about this issue suggested that individual stories would change our opinions about the humanitarian crisis unfolding all over Europe. The recent turnaround in perspective by the Daily Mail suggests that this is true.
The impact of photojournalism is well-known and can change history – look at Vietnam, Bosnia, and Fallujah. The turning point for public opinion about the migrant crisis was an equally potent photograph. The death of 3 year-old Aylan Kurdi was broadcast in print-journalism around the world. The moving pictures have made European leaders rethink their strategies, especially David Cameron who has pledged to take in “thousands more Syrians.”
I don’t think I need to post the images here because they’ve been pretty ubiquitous in the media over the last few days. The images seem to have awoken the human side to the population and the fringe which has argued that migrants are unwelcome has quietened. It’s unclear whether this is because of genuine feelings of emotion, or because continuing this line of argument despite such emotion would be seen by opposition as heartless. Either way, anyone not stirred by the images representing the death of a child, separated from his parents, with no choice regarding his future, must be pretty evil.
It should not have had to come to the death of Aylan for people to realise that this is a humanitarian crisis; in part worsened by our military involvement and other decisions regarding Syria. We’re finally understanding that perhaps we have a responsibility for these people, and while we obviously can help them all, we can certainly pull out weight and relieve some of them.