The Pre-Raphaelites were a group of English painters, poets, and critics that were founded in 1848. The group’s intention was to reform art by rejecting what it considered the mechanistic approach first adopted by Mannerist artists who succeeded Raphael and Michelangelo.
Lady Godiva by John Collier, 1897
Lady of Shalot by John William Waterhouse, 1888
Hylas and the Nymphs by John William Waterhouse, 1896
You know what really gets to me, and I’m sure many know this, is the blatant abuse and betrayal that white photogs display in POC countries. Every time a photo has gotten famous like this photo did in history, the actual focus of the photo is left behind in the dust while the white photog is hailed as a hero for displaying the ills of that country. He didn’t even fucking ask her name. He didn’t ask for 17 years. The world knew nothing about her life and her story. He captured one moment that made him famous and she got nothing.
Every time I see this photo, I seethe.
Her name is Sharbat Gula.
Not only that, but if you read Sharbat’s full story—NatGeo went back and located her after 17 years—she was furious. The photographer literally shoved a camera in her face without permission and took the photograph. According to her culture, “allowing” herself to be photographed that way was immodest. Had her family been more strict, asshole photographer could have gotten her stoned to death.