Here Are 19 Photographs That Capture Controversial Historical Moments

Photographs can delight, intrigue and horrify. This set of images covers all three of those bases, featuring both historic moments and pictures that illustrate far less earnest happenings. What’s more, while photographs are generally seen as a definitive record of events – and some of these photographs certainly are – others challenge the idea that the camera never lies.

Image: Alan Diaz

19. The taking of Elian Gonzalez

Six-year-old Elian Gonzalez traveled to the US by boat as a Cuban refugee in 1999. The boy’s mother and ten of the twelve other passengers aboard died during the journey, but he was rescued by fishermen. Elian became the subject of a custody battle between his father back in Cuba and his great-uncle in the U.S. Eventually, the courts said that Elian must be returned to Cuba. Photographer Alan Diaz caught the moment that the authorities seized him.

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