Roosevelt Campbell Professor Finnegan English 111 (009) 7 October 2012 The death of the young man in the Nicaraguan war The photograph by Koen Wessing, “Nicaragua” (1970) shows a group of people around a dead body on a torn up street in a tragic scene. In the foreground, lies a dead young man on a bumpy road covered with a white sheet, looks like an army boot on one foot sticking out. In the foreground, at the head of the body blood stains are noticeable. A woman who seems to be the young man’s mother walks right up to the body, holding up a sheet to her mouth, and starts to shed tears.
In the background four people stand in the street, who appear to be family members or friends of the deceased. A man, who seems to be the boy’s father or uncle, walks behind the body towards the mother. He does not confront or look at the body, with his head down and his hands together in front of him at his waist as a sign of grief. Behind the man, a friend of the family stares at the body with a handkerchief to her nose, protecting her from the stench. Alongside her is a family member who is partially hidden by the man.
Only a little part of her hair, arms and legs are visible. A family member also stares at the body with a sheet wrapped across her arm. I also notice that behind these people is graffiti on the door of a building which says “FSLN” which stands for Frente Sandinista de Liberacion Nacional (Spanish). In English, this means Sandinista National Liberation Front which is a social democratic party in Nicaragua. On that same building I can see holes on a building behind the group of people maybe they are bullet holes, from the gun when they fired at the young man.
Look like there is even a spent shell to the left of the head of the body. In this photo by Koen Wessing, it indicates how the family members and friends have been affected by the death of the young man, not only them but how the country as a whole has been deeply affected with the deaths and destructions which have been taking place in the country, seemed to have been caused by a war. Koen Wessing portrays how war destroys families and the struggle that people in this scene and the whole country has to go through.
When looking at the young man’s mother, family members and friends, you can see by their facial expression and body language that they’re broken down mentally by the death of the young man, which deeply affects them. This can cause problems such as depression and anger. This can even continue to affect them later on in the future. To my assumption he may have been brutally murdered by Somoza’s National Guard (opposition to the Sandinistas), because of his affiliation with the Sandinistas, and he may not have been the only innocent person to be killed by them, so there would have been other families affected by this turmoil.
This war has not only affected the people but the country’s infrastructure as well such as the roads and buildings that were demolished. Homes might have also been wrecked leaving people homeless which might cause them and their children to be sleeping without a roof over their head which is not healthy. Some businesses may have been shut down, and with no businesses, people would be out of jobs and as a result of this, they wouldnot being able to provide for their family. Schools also might have been closed and this would have deeply affected the educational progress of the students and affect them in the future.
In conclusion, this photo clearly states the suffering the people and the country as a whole had to go through, and how the dead are left to remind the people of fear and sadness. This image illustrates the devastating effect that a war can have on the people and its country. Koen Wessing is telling us that a war can cause a lot of problems in a country and it would be very difficult to reestablish all the aspects which have been affected. Works Cited Koen, Wessing. Nicaragua. 1970. Photograph. English 111 Course Page. Web.
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