31 July 2012

"I became a photographer and not a person" ~ Photojournalism as Morally Troubling?

Last week The Guardian ran this series of thoughtful, albeit painful, reflections by photographers who had encountered deeply disturbing events and faced the prospect of taking pictures or intervening ... and, mostly, chosen the former. I have to say that I myself am ambivalent about these tales. We rely on photojournalists to show us that this and this and this - usually all horrific - happen. Do we want them for their compassion? Or, do we want them for their ability to stomach events that we'd otherwise be able to blithely ignore - and in which we often are, directly or indirectly, complicit?

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Blogger Stan B. said...

Talk about treading on dangerous territory! And we should be "ambivalent," especially since this is one thing where we really can't judge what we'd do- unless actually being there in each of those specific situations.

Proclaiming that one would "do the right thing" and play the hero if they were in that exact circumstance is incredibly easy and disingenuous from the comfort of one's living room- minus the murderous throng surrounding you.
And yet, one can't help but feel that simply saying "I'm a photographer first" is also a knee jerk proclamation, morally bereft of any human connection whatsoever.

31 July, 2012 16:50  

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