Monday 27 February 2017

How Aylan's tragic death sparked frenzy of competitive compassion

Ian O'Doherty

Ian O'Doherty

Aylan Kurdi
Aylan Kurdi

It is now a week since the picture of three-year-old Aylan Kurdi (right) lying dead on a Turkish beach first appeared, and the last seven days have seen an outpouring of grief and public emoting, much of it understandable and humane; much of it cynical and nauseating.

If some observers - myself included - initially predicted that the arresting image could be the iconic 'napalm girl' moment of our age (her actual name is Phan Thi Kim Phuc, lest we forget), they actually underestimated the effect it would have.

In fact, it would probably be more accurate to say that the picture has become our Diana moment, such is the frenzied emoting and sense of competitive compassion it has inspired.

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