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Only My Soul

By jonathanbp
One of the many disabled homeless people on the streets of Buenos Aires.

There are few services for the homeless and disabled. Some of the disabled beggars are veterans of the Falklands War, a generation of young men forgotten and discarded by their own government. Many of these men were in their late teens and very early twenties when they were sent to 'liberate' Las Malvinas.

Most of them were conscripted from the nothern provinces of Argentina where the population is largely indigenous or mixed race. Few educated 'whites' were sent to the Falklands in 1982. That war is still a scandal for the general population even though their current government insists on claiming the territory whilst at the same time they are reducing the size of 'Native American Reservations' or simply confiscating the land from the idigenous population of Argentina.

Again, I hesitated in both taking this picture and also uploading it to this website - feeling that in some way we photographers can make use of misery for photgraphic gain. However, I hope this picture communicates an important story in the hope that his voice is heard through this picture and his story is told, it will somehow relieve the only thing he appears to have left - his soul.

Irrespective of which nation is considered the agressor, and which government is considered to be in the right, on both sides of a battle there is the human story - often the stories of young men who lack any real choices, often education and are later forgotten. When injured on the battlefiled these young men are often heard crying out for their mothers. To whom do they call when they are in their forties and fifties and their mother is no more? Their calls often unheard, their call often being an embarassment to the leaders who sent them out with the rhetoric of becoming hero.

Only my soul - that is all that is left when all else has been taken. But perhaps he has forgotten that he is human.

The map indicates the excat location, just about three blocks from my apartment in Buenos Aires.


Tags: Photo journalism Photojournalism Poverty Argentina Disabled Beggar Homeless Buenos aires Landscape and travel Portraits and people

Voters: PeelNStick, photophantom, VIKI and 11 more

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photophantom 10 108 3 Philippines
30 Dec 2008 2:03AM
Great photojournalism. Happy new Year!

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Ray42 10 3 England
30 Dec 2008 7:35AM
Great candid and photojournalism - excellent write up - Happy New Year
ron thomas Plus
14 11 1 United Kingdom
3 Jan 2009 5:58PM
I knew that I could not look at his picture and not make a comment but I am uncertain just what to say. The image does convey a very strong message so I thank you for taking the picture and also the subject (although he would never know) for allowing me to react. Given to enormity of the circumstances anything I say seems quite pathetic but what happened to this man (and all those like him) should never be forgotten. I would like to think that knowledge of what happened was considered by any person, politician, general, civil servant or decision-maker who can influence what happens in the future. Certain things have to be said regardless of how dangerous it is to speak out. If ever I was tested, I hope I would have the "backbone" to speak out and stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before. They should never be forgotten.

8 Jan 2009 12:41PM
I remember a freiend saying to me years ago. 'Men make wars and women have children'
We would all do well to remember the abject suffering in the Middle east and your image makes me feel very helpless at to the continued sufferering of incocent victims of war and the forgotton soldiers of every war there ever was
jonathanbp 9 99 Thailand
8 Jan 2009 12:54PM

Quote:I remember a freiend saying to me years ago. 'Men make wars and women have children'........

And men lose their brothers and comrades on the battlefield, as well as having children...just as women lose thier sons, lovers and husbands on the battlefield.

Until we release limiting ideologies and fear of lack, war will continue. One war begets another, and so it goes on.

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