Topics

Christopher Knight
Why Kenneth Jarecke's gruesome war photo needs to be seen
Why Kenneth Jarecke's gruesome war photo needs to be seen

The photo shows a man, his skin blackened, his teeth set in a grimace, a barely human figure who was carbonized trying to escape his deathtrap of a burning truck. The man is Iraqi. The setting is the Highway of Death, the strip of road that led north out of Kuwait into southern Iraq, where the allied forces of Gulf War I bombed an Iraqi convoy attempting to retreat. Snapped by combat photographer Kenneth Jarecke, it has all the makings of an iconic war photograph. But at the time he took it, in the pre-Internet days of 1991, it was barely seen — published in only two newspapers, both in Europe. The Atlantic has a terrific story about the photo's history and why it went...

Loading