A true photographer has the gift of capturing the beauty and truth in every moment. And although Elliott Erwitt used to say that “the whole point of taking pictures is so that you don’t have to explain things with words,” knowing the background story helps to understand an artist’s intention.

We at Enlighten are ready to share with you 10 photographs that not only display the state of affairs but tell emotional stories.

The Burning Monk

Malcolm Browne

On June 10, 1963, dozens of people witnessed the self-immolation of the Vietnamese Buddist monk Thích Quang Duc. He burned himself to death to stand up against the oppression of Buddhists by the South Vietnamese government. Malcolm Browne, an American journalist, captured this moment, and his photograph became a worldwide sensation and brought attention to the policies of the government. Historians believe that Thích Quang Duc’s act was a critical point in the crisis and greatly contributed to the change of power in Vietnam