The Historical Roots of Humanitarian Photography: a 19th-Century Evangelical Newspaper’s Enduring Influence on the Global Aid Industry

0 Famine Sufferers Full Page Jul 1897

On September 2, 2015, the body of 3-year-old Alan Kurdi washed up ashore near the Turkish resort of Bodrum. Within several days, a photograph of the lifeless toddler lying facedown on the beach made front-page headlines around the globe, sparking a wave of concern to address humanitarian crisis in Syria. In this post for HistPhil, I trace the power of such images to the 19th-century evangelical newspaper, the Christian Herald.