The innocence of a child: War, politics and social media

Symbolically pure innocence is represented as a child. Young, innocent and unscathed by the pain and horrors of the adult world, of adult society; where psychopaths play the games of war.

Are we numb now? The age of social media, means endless scrolling now filled with the bodies of the dead. We look to Facebook for our daily dose of terror as it has now become for so many, part of our daily routine. We are reminded of the casualties of war but only for a few seconds at a time.  In the particularities of cyber-space we are not given time to grieve, in this meta reality we merely absorb the digital data and move on. Consequently, our dimensions are split, we know this is happening but its effects are not felt, simply acknowledged. The results? Mixed. Social apathy, digital activism, debates that run wild in the comments section, the change of a picture, proclaiming your digital alliance.

Are these forms effective?  Do they degrade movements, do they trivialise these moments in history, or is it simply time to embrace what is now the modern form of communication, debate and critique? [I will not attempt to answer these questions now but will leave you to ponder!]

The truth is children have been dying and continue to die. They are the sufferers and fatalities of this “war on terror”, war on ISIS or whichever name shape or form we use to justify the killing of children. All in the name of defending western interest and civilisation and in defence of peace. (Orwell’s -War is Peace- may ring a bell here)

When the face of Omran Daqneesh in a Syrian ambulance is shown all over the world, when Alan Kurdi is found on the shore and when we are reminded of the thousands of children that suffer. This is is not just a wake up call to governments around the world that will fall on deaf ears. (Although public speeches will be made candles will be lit, policy does not change). Rather drone bombings, that murder thousands of civilians, that desecrate hospitals are still not being held truly accountable, but attempts are made to cover up or downplay the ugly truth of their mechanical bloodbaths.

Therefore, it is a wake up call to us, a reminder to never allow those who are supposed to ‘lead’ to lead us into a dark corner of apathy an unconscious disregard. To to value certain lives against others. To silently agree to waging war against an enemy western powers created, while human casualties are regarded as collateral damage.  An enemy that feeds off the fear and hate and the dehumanization of the human spirit.  We must always resist, and take time out of this secondary digital realm to grieve the passing of innocent souls.

Chisara Agor


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