A Sikh carrying his wife on his shoulders, migrating to Indian Punjab, 1947. Photograph by Margaret Bourke-White.
(C) Life Magazine
More about this photo based on the notes written by Margaret Bourke White:
What of the stately image of a Sikh bearing an ailing woman on his shoulders as they seek to walk to safety? From a biography of Bourke-White, we know this picture was to an extent staged. “We were there for hours,” Eitingon recalled years later. “She told them to go back again and again and again. They were too frightened to say no.” From the contact sheets, we can now see that an army vehicle was nearby, and the photograph was cropped. Bourke-White’s fierce determination to get just the pictures she wanted does not negate their quality, even if they were far from candid. From her scrupulously recorded notes, we learn this man was a farmer from Lyallpur district, now heading to India with his sick wife on his shoulders. Their kafila had been raided; 103 of its members were dead.