In 1972, this picture of a nine-year-old girl, Kim Phuc, fleeing her village after a napalm attack brought the Vietnam War home to many. Although the picture was initially scoffed for having a naked girl at its centre, the shocking nature of napalm attacks silenced the prudes. The picture was so revealing in the nature that President Nixon accused its photographer of staging the photo.
Behind the girl, one can observe all the South Vietnamese armies running with Kim, other members of her family including her younger brother, who looked back into the black smoke. The Vietnamese photographer Nick Ut had been just outside the village when two planes dropped four napalm bombs. He heard the cries, and “I want some water, I’m too hot, too hot,” – in Vietnamese, “Nong qua, nong qua!”
Nick snapped this picture, and afterwards gave her some water, and took her to the hospital. Nick would later win a Pulitzer for this photo, which will also become the World Press Photo of the Year. Kim Phu herself would toured the world inciting numerous political controversies: she became the star of numerous humanitarian events and anti-war campaigns and also the hero of a bestselling book Girl in the Picture.