Thursday, June 18, 2009

Photographs of war and famine (Reflection paper)

What are scary pictures! I could not go through the end of album at first. When I was a child I could not see films about war. If shootings started and somebody died screaming or something like that going on the screen, I put my hands on the ears and hided under the table. My sisters and brothers called me when those scary things were gone. I had such feeling when I started to list the album “Inferno” by James Nachtwey.

Second time, I read introductions to chapters which gave me more explanations and I finished to look at pictures. The photographer was a witness. He brought many pieces of truth to other people. As Mongolian proverb says “The truth is bitter.” But the images in this album more bitter. Clearly, that is why the album has a name like Inferno.

He took these pictures because he was an anti-war photographer. I agree with the following statement: “The anti-war photographer’s job is to see on behalf of the rest of the world; to substitute individual cases for statistics and to counter ideological justifications with individual costs; to enumerate the human features of the dead; to make suffering palpable so that people far removed can not overlook or excuse it; to repeat all these things again and again in the face of the human propensity for shutting out bad news especially when it does not represent an immediate personal threat; to act as a vessel for those who can not get the attention of the world because they have no voice left; if they ever had one; to appeal, to alert, to upset, to cry out (p.9)”


April, 2001

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