Selfie Attendance

by Niko Devera of FIU in Pompeii, Italy

Fuck you. Fuck you for your absence of an infinitesimal amount of any sort of sentiment. How do you have the face to strip away the remaining humanity petrified in a concrete cast of a face confronted by their final moments of mortality? Was the pure terror of their imminent death entertaining enough for you to find the need to place yourself next to it? Hey look, I was here. I saw them. I know, see? Maybe it’s a melodramatic overreaction I’ve been prone to one too many times in the past, but I have an issue with your decision to photograph yourself in front of their casts of men, women, children, people buried under a thick layer of volcanic ash that were forcibly frozen in time to become a spectacle for the world in their least idealized, most raw and vulnerable state. Seeing their broken bodies is what manifested an authentic connection to my modern humanity with that of 2,000 years before me. I saw them and I was amazed just as you were, yet I chose to respect them. Seeing my floating head with their concrete corpse in the same frame distances us miles more than it does connect us. Inevitably, there will be thousands more of you, shitting on their illusive opportunity to receive any sort of funeral. I couldn’t come close to destroying enough selfie sticks to be able to make you feel something rather than fabricating a sense of connection. All that I ask of you is that once you’re done taking your emotionless selfie, feel something instead of blankly looking at it.

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