- Chelsea Handler tackles system racism in ‘Hello Privilege. It’s Me, Chelsea’ 6 Years Ago
- Gun control proposal: Trump, lawmakers considering background check-conducting app 6 Years Ago
- How to stream Browns vs. Jets on Monday Night Football Today 7:00 AM
- What are anons? Today 6:30 AM
- How to stream Eagles vs. Falcons on Sunday Night Football Today 6:00 AM
- How to stream ‘Power’ season 6, episode 4 Today 5:00 AM
- How to stream WWE’s Clash of Champions 2019 Saturday 8:00 PM
- How ‘F*ck off Scotland’ became a Scottish rallying cry amid Brexit madness Saturday 6:28 PM
- A Missouri officer resigned after his Islamophobic Facebook posts surfaced Saturday 5:08 PM
- Adding ‘Triggered’ to stock photos of white men creates Netflix comedy special thumbnails Saturday 3:10 PM
- New restaurant in New York has a seriously unfortunate name: ‘Qanoon’ Saturday 1:38 PM
- These are the 10 best ‘Star Wars’ ships Saturday 12:41 PM
- Google Maps helped solve a decades-old missing persons case Saturday 12:27 PM
- Teen who plotted deadly swatting prank over Call of Duty argument gets prison time Saturday 11:58 AM
- RIP to the real star of ‘Stranger Things’: Steve Harrington’s mullet Saturday 11:04 AM
Capturing the sheer destruction of Syria’s civil war
Using satellite images, Science for Human Rights has put together a stunning collection of before-and-after photos of Aleppo, Syria.
In the last several years, imaging technology has opened up the past.
Google Earth has led to the discovery of a new human ancestor and of 2,000 new archaeological sites in the poorly understood Arabian peninsula. LiDAR (light detecting and ranging) mapping has allowed us to reevaluate the scope of pre-contact populations in Mesoamerica, and satellite photography has enabled us to identified 13 previously unknown pyramids in Egypt, as well as 1,000 new tombs and 3,000 lost settlements in the Nile Delta.
In partnership with Amnesty International, the before-and-after Flickr photo set of Aleppo, Syria—the country’s largest city and its financial capital, a site of horrible fighting between loyalists and revolutionaries—captures the horrendous, destructive force of war-right-now.
Among the losses documented are the 17th century Aleppo souk (marketplace), a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the minaret of the city’s Great Mosque.
Of course, in every flattened apartment block around every leveled landmark lived dozens, perhaps hundreds of families. The civil war in Syria has resulted in 6 million displaced people, something the photos bring home in more graphic fashion.
Amnesty has also created a tool that allows a user to toggle back and forth between how a section of the city or landmark looked before the fighting and how it looks now.
One of the gifts of these awful images, if it can be put like that, is retroactive. As picturesque, stirring, or emotionally distant as an ancient war might seem to those downstream from it in time, there was never a single one from which corruption did not issue. Individual human life above all, but not just that.
War also destroys those larger expressions of our common journey. Wells are always poisoned, places of worship are always profaned, and marketplaces are always destroyed. The structures that give voice to, and hold together, society itself are always wrecked.
It is easy to forget how much we destroy. It is less so when confronted by these photos, a confrontation that would not have been possible on this scale and with this ease before photo sharing became part of our common vocabulary.
Curt Hopkins has over two decades of experience as a journalist, editorial strategist, and social media manager. His work has been published by Ars Technica, Reuters, Los Angeles Times, and San Francisco Chronicle. He is the also founding director of the Committee to Protect Bloggers, the first organization devoted to global free speech rights for bloggers