Today I heard that there was a factory fire in Bangladesh, only two weeks after a devastating building collapse in the country. I read about it on Twitter, and saw it on the news headlines. I may even have taken in the number of people killed, but I was immune, so desensitized by the tragedies and death I read about every day. However, one picture of the building collapse brought the incredible magnitude of the tragedy home to me.
I cannot describe this picture to you. Every time I glance at it, masochistically kept open in my internet browser the entire day, my body is covered in goosebumps. Here it is. I think it is one of the most powerful pictures I have ever seen.
To my (and probably your) collective disappointment, also open in my browser is a video of Justin Bieber performing in Cape Town last night. For me, Justin Bieber represents obsession, wealth, and youthful idiocy. In this country, Justin Bieber is bigger news than the people who died in that fire.
These two events, the fire and the concert, happened at the same time. So many people died in Bangladesh as a result of poor health and safety rule enforcement, while adoring fans follow every move that Bieber makes. Such is the cruelty of life. Yet I cannot escape the tear of blood on this Bangladeshi man’s face as he is immortalised in his final embrace.