Welcome to photojournalist Patrick Farrell's weekly feature, The Sunday Still. Farrell selects one image each week that showcases the best photojournalism by photojournalists from around the world. The feature runs weekly in The Sunday Long Read. The goal of the newsletter, edited by Don Van Natta Jr. and Jacob Feldman, is to put the week’s best journalism in your hands every Sunday morning.
New York Times opinion writer Margaret Renkl asked this past week if photos of suffering children still have the power to elicit compassion and spur action. As if in response to her column, “When a Picture Is Worth a Thousand Tears,” Anadolu Agency photographer Muhammed Said shared a stirring photo on Feb. 18 while covering displaced families fleeing violence in Syria. Three mischievous children, bundled for warmth in sub-zero temperatures, peek from their makeshift, mud-splattered shelter in an overcrowded camp, seemingly impervious to the danger. Only the older boy standing above them shows a trace of concern. Do images of the helpless still have the capacity to stir help? In our polarized, image-saturated times, the empathy triggered by a single, powerful photograph may be the one thing humans can still agree upon.
Patrick Farrell, the curator of The Sunday Still, is the 2009 Pulitzer Prize-winner for Breaking News Photography for The Miami Herald, where he worked from 1987 to 2019. He is currently a Lecturer in the Department of Journalism and Media Management at the University of Miami School of Communication.