Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Falling Man (USA)

The Falling Man is the title of a story about a photograph taken by Richard Drew at 9:41:15 a.m., on 11 September 2001 showing one of the many people jumping from the WTC towers.

The photograph provoked feelings of anger in the immediate aftermath of the September 11 attacks, particularly in the United States. It ran only once in many American newspapers because they received critical and angry letters from readers who felt the photo was "exploitative, voyeuristic and disrespectful" of the dead. This led to the media's self-censorship of the photograph, preferring instead to print photos of acts of heroism and sacrifice.

Drew commented about the varying reactions, saying, "This is how it affected people's lives at that time, and I think that is why it's an important picture. I didn't capture this person's death. I captured part of his life. This is what he decided to do, and I think I preserved that."

Five years after the attacks, Jonathan Briley, a 43-year-old employee of the Windows on the World, was identified by chef Michael Lomonaco as The Falling Man. Briley was a sound engineer who lived outside of Manhattan, in Mount Vernon, and worked in the North Tower restaurant.

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