The New Normal?

Normal? by Paul Amyes on
A young aboriginal girl lies sick on the pavement outside Royal Perth Hospital as nursing staff have a smoke and check their phones. Olympus Pen EP-5 and an Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm f/1.8 lens. Exposure: 1/100, f8, ISO 250.

I don’t shoot “poverty porn“. Photographers shooting the marginalised in society just for entertainment makes me uncomfortable – it kind of reminds me how people in the Elizabethan era would visit Bedlam and pay to money to be entertained by the inmates for something to do on a Sunday afternoon. But this time I was quite angry at was happening, or more precisely what wasn’t happening, and I felt I had to share it.

I was attending an outpatients appointment at Royal Perth Hospital when I stumbled across the scene above. The young aboriginal girl under the blanket was sick and on the pavement outside Perth’s main accident and emergency facility.In the background are nursing staff having a smoke and checking their phones acting like this was a perfectly normal situation. So when did sick people lying on the pavement outside an accident and emergency facility become normal? Has our society become so hardened that we are impervious to the suffering of our fellow-man? Something has definitely gone wrong somewhere.