pink belly

By outher

2021-11-13

Tim Hetherington’s photograph captures an army specialist, screaming after participating in a birthday ritual known as “pink belly.” This act of hazing involves members of a soldiers’s unit hitting him in the stomach until he bleeds. Though the perpetrators are not seen in this image, they are felt in the shadows as their jackets hang in the corner and their bunk beds are visible in the back. The subject emerges from the shadows, arms outstretched, appearing almost Christlike. The raw emotion in the work is palpable—a combination of pain, elation, and pent-up anger and stress. This fleeting cathartic moment is captured in the rigid tension of the soldier’s shirtless torso. 

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