looting and desire


The headline reads “Haiti Looting Horror”; the photo says so much more. A girl, dressed in a pink-and-grey argyle sweater and pink skirt, face down over three wall hangings. A long stream of blood pours from a fatal bullet wound to her head. She is lying atop a shattered concrete building. Behind her, desolation. Only one of the pictures beneath her is visible: two purple flowers in bloom, sticking out of a simple vase. The girl was 15-years-old and her name was Fabienne. According to the report in last week’s Guardian, it wasn’t clear if police had shot to kill or scare Fabienne and the other looters around her. But the officers’ intentions didn’t much matter. Their sentence was final. In the aftermath of any disaster, in the eyes of outsiders, looters are the ultimate bad guys. They are the selfish, the lawless, the uncivilized, taking advantage of chaos, getting ahead while everyone else just tries to get by.

more from Stefany Anne Golberg at her blog here.