Self-Immolation – Davin Gooch

To further my research I began to look closer into the relevancy of today’s society in terms of self-immolation. In turn, I found out that recently a man had set himself on fire on the national mall. Very little appears to be known, but it does seem to have a link to protesting the government. Sources report that the man saluted the capitol, doused himself in gasoline, and used his lighter to set himself ablaze. There were a few people on scene, one of whom was Javier Soto, a photographer that caught pictures of the man. Once he had been set himself on fire, a few joggers ran to help him and put out the flames with their shirts. Eventually, the man was taken in a helicopter to the hospital where he died later that day. His identity and motives are still unknown, but it does appear to be following in the footsteps of past protesters using fire to prove their point. Unfortunately, this story did not get much media attention due to other events around the same time such as a woman getting shot outside the capitol.

I will need to wait and find out more information as it is released in order to fully relate it to my research into the relevancy in today’s society. However, if it is politically backed then it really brings the point home so to speak. This was a planned event that took place on federal property during a government shutdown. The implications behind this could prove the relevancy of this photo to today. This is especially true because in some of the reports of this story the writers mentioned Thic Quan Duc, the buddhist monk. This is different simply because it is a U.S. citizen on federal property. It’s not a middle eastern fruit salesman protesting a corrupt regime in some nation that many Americans can’t pronounce correctly. This is here at home. I’m excited to see what new information comes out in the next weeks in regards to this story so as to relate it to my research.



One thought on “Self-Immolation – Davin Gooch

  1. Davin,

    You raise an excellent point about the fact that this incident got so little attention. I’d be interested to learn whether or not this individual had a political motive.

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