The Back Catalogue (3): Images of atrocity, conflict and war


Welcome to the third in “The Back Catalogue” series of posts… I’ve been actively writing online for nearly three years now, and one of the challenges of the blog format is how to keep old posts with content that is potentially still relevant from slipping off the radar. And because this site combines my research with … Continued

Photographing Gaza: AP, Franklin and being political


Ten days on from learning that the Associated Press had forced Stuart Franklin to withdraw his essay about Gaza from part of the Noorderlicht exhibtion, questions and concerns remain about this affair. The photographic press has failed to unpack the whole story, although the British Journal of Photography ran an updated account on 9 September. … Continued

Photographing Gaza: more questions in the case of AP vs. Stuart Franklin


The controversy surrounding the forced withdrawal of Stuart Franklin’s essay in the Noorderlicht Photofestival exhibition of Palestinian photojournalism has received some coverage in both Photo District News and the British Journal of Photography. Those reports don’t delve very deep into this issue. As such, there remain a number of outstanding questions that, given the importance … Continued

Photographing Gaza: do pictures speak of politics?


Do photographs speak? Do they have an intrinsic politics? Or do they rely on the text that accompanies them for political meaning? An unfolding controversy about the photojournalism of Palestinian photographers contracted to western picture agencies is broaching these questions. As I’ve written here, although many claimed that Israel’s media controls meant few pictures of … Continued

Photographing the Catastrophe of Gaza, part 2


The Observer Magazine has a cover story today (“A Life in Ruins“) about the aftermath of the Israeli invasion of Gaza. It details the on-going suffering, and is illustrated with Antonio Olmos’s portraits of Gazans living in their destroyed houses. His photograph of Shifa Salman (below) is a double page spread on the inside, with … Continued

Photographing the Catastrophe of Gaza


Israel’s three-week war against Gaza was a devastating assault. Retaliating to Hamas rocket attacks, Israel’s military campaign caused the death of some 1,300 Palestinians and the destruction of thousands of buildings. The story of this operation dominated the world’s media in January 2009, yet many felt that the reality of the conflict had been hidden … Continued

Gaza: Israel’s mythical withdrawal


The Israel Defense Forces have completed five investigations into claims of war crimes during the war on Gaza and concluded, unsurprisingly, that those claims are unfounded. As an IDF spokesperson said: “The bottom line is that the IDF conducted itself in an appropriate manner within the limits of international law.” Given the points raised in … Continued

Gaza: terror without mercy, in the shadow of the law


“The underlying meaning of the attack on the Gaza Strip, or at least its final consequence, appears to be one of creating terror without mercy to anyone.” That is the conclusion of an independent study jointly commissioned by Physicians for Human Rights-Israel and the Palestinian Medical Relief Society. It chimes with The Guardian’s investigation into … Continued

Gaza, from the beginning


How one thinks about Israel’s war on Gaza depends on where one begins the story. For conservatives like Alan Dershowitz, Hamas declared war against Israel with its rocket attacks in late 2008, meaning that Israel had the right under the UN charter (despite its long history of ignoring UN Security Council resolutions) to take whatever … Continued