Posts Tagged ‘war photography’

May 27, 2012 · by David Campbell · photography, politics
Jon Kudelka

The link between the camera and gun is evident in a shared metaphor, but is historically closer than we might imagine. During the 2004 battle for Fallujah in Iraq, NBC cameraman Kevin Sites filmed a marine shooting an insurgent in a mosque. Jon Kudelka’s cartoon (published in The Australian) references this event and points to…

November 10, 2011 · by David Campbell · photography, politics
Elusive Enemy

Last week The Guardian published an extraordinary report on how Al Qaeda is using aid to win the ‘hearts and minds’ of displaced Somalis in East Africa’s zone of food insecurity. Jamal Osman’s investigation – including a compelling eleven minute video – reveals how aid workers and medical units, including American and British citizens, are…

October 21, 2011 · by David Campbell · photography, politics, Thinking Images
Le Figaro

The extensive pictorial coverage of Gaddafi’s death yesterday takes us back to the question I posed, also in relation to Libya, at the end of August – when should we see the dead? There I wrote that generally the mainstream media operates in terms the idea of “taste and decency” thereby sanitising the coverage of…

October 6, 2011 · by David Campbell · More posts, photography, politics
Dramatic staging

Photojournalism Behind the Scenes [ITA-ENG subs] from Ruben Salvadori on Vimeo. Ruben Salvadori’s video – “an auto-critical photo essay” – demonstrates clearly that when we see a conflict, what we see is the outcome of “conflict image production.” It’s like those still photographs which reveal photographers at work – Paul Lowe’s 1992 photograph of the Somalia…

September 8, 2011 · by David Campbell · photography, politics
Anthony_Suau_September_11_2001

  As the tenth anniversary of September 11, 2001 approaches images of the event are being recycled and recirculated. Many of them are familiar, and the meaning of the event now seems fixed. But anniversaries are part of the process of fixing memory, and as they are repeated they can obscure the uncertainty that prevailed at…

September 5, 2011 · by David Campbell · photography
Hetherington_Sleeping_Soldiers

Sleeping Soldiers_single screen (2009) from Tim Hetherington on Vimeo. I’m publishing here a short article written earlier this year by Stephen Mayes and Tim Hetherington that explores the themes of aggression, masculinity, sex and war, and the way they informed Tim’s work. Entitled “The Theatre of War, or ‘La Petite Mort’,” the article was a…

August 30, 2011 · by David Campbell · photography, politics, Thinking Images
AP

When should we see the dead? In this photograph of a Libyan rebel surveying a possible massacre site we are confronted with an unusually graphic portrayal of war dead. (This picture ran in The Guardian print edition on 29 August (pp. 14-15), appeared online, along with a similar image from the same photographer that can…

June 13, 2011 · by David Campbell · Back Catalogue, photography, politics
Back_Catalogue_3

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…

May 27, 2011 · by David Campbell · photography, politics, Thinking Images
Ratko_Mladic_arrest_2011

    This photograph of former Bosnian Serb General Ratko Mladic after his arrest was (as Tom Keenan observed on Facebook) too long in coming but nevertheless still satisfying. In many ways its hard to equate the pathetic visage on display here with the barbaric deeds Mladic’s forces committed in the Bosnian War between 1992-95, with…

May 13, 2011 · by David Campbell · photography, politics
Life_1965

What would a critical photographic response to the war in Afghanistan involve? The is no single answer to that question, but having both contributed to and learnt from a workshop on the Burke + Norfolk show at the Tate Gallery in London this past week, it is one we have to pursue. To begin to…

May 6, 2011 · by David Campbell · photography, politics, Thinking Images
P050111PS-0210

The killing of Osama Bin-Laden is another of those issues in which politics is located in or around the image. However, the debate about the rights or wrongs of releasing the post-mortem photograph obscures the fact that any such image will inevitably have been staged. I’ve read the many arguments calling for the release of…

April 26, 2011 · by David Campbell · media economy, photography, politics, Thinking Images
Syria_Reuters

Both the scale of the protests in Syria, and the violence of the regime’s response, is growing. Yet photojournalism is able to offer little about this vital story. While we have seen powerful coverage of events in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and even Yemen, there seem to be few if any photojournalists – either freelance or associated…

April 21, 2011 · by David Campbell · multimedia, photography
Tim Hetherington

Tributes to Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros have been widespread and heartfelt after the devastating news of their untimely deaths in Libya. The injuries to Guy Martin and Michael Christopher Brown were also shocking, and hopefully they will recover fully. Photojournalism Links has curated the numerous memorials, including many fascinating videos in which Tim and…

April 11, 2011 · by David Campbell · photography, politics, Thinking Images
Congo_Paula Allen_thumbnail

  Paula Allen’s photograph of the women who helped build a centre for rape survivors in Bukavu, eastern Congo, is a bold depiction that combines celebration and power. As the double-page lead to Katherine Viner’s story on the City of Joy project in Saturday’s Guardian Weekend magazine, Allen’s photograph departs from much of the conventional reportage of…

April 5, 2011 · by David Campbell · photography
Burke + Norfolk

Simon Norfolk’s new project on Afghanistan opens at the Tate Gallery in London on 6 May, and comprises new work exhibited alongside the nineteenth century Irish photographer, John Burke. There will be a book forthcoming from Dewi Lewis and – full disclosure – I was commissioned to write a short essay for this publication. As…

March 25, 2011 · by David Campbell · multimedia, photography
Libya_pjs

World Press Photo announced the shortlist for its inaugural multimedia award this week, with three narrative stories and three interactive projects. Coming after six weeks of monumental global events, it got me thinking: where are the multimedia stories from the revolution in Egypt, the disaster in Japan and the conflict in Libya? Recalling Paul Conroy’s March…

March 22, 2011 · by David Campbell · media economy, photography, politics, Thinking Images
Libya_GT

More than 100 newspaper front pages are running Goran Tomasevic’s photographs of the airstrikes on Libya. These scans have been made and circulated today by Thomson Reuters, and demonstrate how particular images attract the eye of picture editors around the world. His most featured photograph shows “a bomb from an allied aircraft explod[ing] among vehicles…

February 21, 2011 · by David Campbell · photography, politics, Thinking Images
Kevin Frayer

Different perspectives on the landscape of war in Afghanistan do exist. Two weeks ago The Frame (the photo blog of Californian newspaper The Sacramento Bee) published “Helmand Province from above,” nineteen black and white images from Kevin Frayer. Kevin Frayer is a Canadian photojournalist currently working as the Associated Press Chief Photographer for South Asia….

January 7, 2011 · by David Campbell · photography, politics, Thinking Images
Sudan_1

Thinking Images – an occasional series on some of the week’s visuals and the thoughts they prompt… Sudan faces a momentous week beginning Sunday 9 January. A referendum in the south, mandated as part of the 2005 comprehensive peace agreement, could lead to the division of the country and the creation of a new state. Voting will…

December 17, 2010 · by David Campbell · More posts, photography, politics
AP-David Guttenfelder

  The US-led war in Afghanistan is one of the longest running conflicts in America’s history. After more than nine years, the US and its allies have been fighting in Afghanistan longer than Soviet Union was by the time of its 1989 withdrawal. The war in Afghanistan has also surpassed the formal duration of the…

November 26, 2010 · by David Campbell · photography, politics, Thinking Images
Gaith_A_Ahad_Taliban

Thinking Images – an occasional series on some of the week’s visuals and the thoughts they prompt… The visual landscape of the war in Afghanistan is primarily, and necessarily, a product of embedded reporting. However, because it is easier to be embedded with NATO military forces than the Taliban, we have only ever received an unavoidably partial…

November 7, 2010 · by David Campbell · photography, politics, Thinking Images
Camp 4 Mecca arrow Shackle eye

Thinking Images – an occasional series on a small selection of the week’s visuals and the thoughts they prompt… More documentary photographs in the mainstream press – Guardian Weekend has surprised us again! This week they have published work from a major project, Edmund Clark’s “Guantánamo: If the light goes out.” Although Guardian Weekend has the all-important…

November 14, 2009 · by David Campbell · photography, politics

Following on from the controversy surrounding Noam Chomsky’s October 2009 Amnesty International lecture in Belfast (see here), I have been receiving new information on interviews Professor Noam Chomsky has given in recent years where he discusses, amongst other issues, the 1992 ITN television reports of the Bosnian Serb camps at Omarska and Trnopolje. My correspondence…

November 9, 2009 · by David Campbell · photography, politics

The trial of Radovan Karadzic for genocide in Bosnia has begun in The Hague despite the accused’s boycott of the proceedings. Amidst all the legitimate issues this trial will provoke, one problem stands out – the Karadzic trial has already become another plinth upon which the revisionists who seek to deny the systematic ethnic cleansing…

September 11, 2009 · by David Campbell · photography

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….

September 4, 2009 · by David Campbell · photography

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…

September 1, 2009 · by David Campbell · photography

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…

July 10, 2009 · by David Campbell · photography

The relationship between photographs and text in the construction of political understanding is often complex and frequently unclear. Although news photographs regularly present themselves as windows illustrating the world, the articles, captions and headlines with which they are associated can bind them into meanings at odds with both their pictorial content and the accompanying textual…

July 5, 2009 · by David Campbell · photography

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…

June 5, 2009 · by David Campbell · photography, politics
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…

May 22, 2009 · by David Campbell · photography
Embedded in Afghanistan

Embedding photojournalists with combat units was one of the military’s greatest victories in the Iraq war. Narrowing their focus in time and space to the unit they were with produced images putting brave soldiers front and center, with both context and victims out of range. Now, with the Obama administration’s “Af-Pak” strategy being questioned, we…

April 7, 2009 · by David Campbell · multimedia

As I wrote in today’s photographic post on Afghanistan, John D. McHugh’s multimedia series Six Months in Afghanistan offers some of the best visual insights into the military realities of that conflict. McHugh, in a session chaired by Roger Tooth of The Guardian at London’s Fontline Club last week, also provides a series of good…

· by David Campbell · photography

The visualization of the war against the Taliban has stuck closely to the conventional understanding of the conflict in Afghanistan. With few exceptions, photojournalism has focused on the military struggles of international forces as they combat an ‘elusive’ enemy. Starting with stories like Ron Haviv’s Road to Kabul, and evident in the contributions to the…

March 20, 2009 · by David Campbell · photography

Photojournalism’s representation of war is often standardized, familiar, even clichéd. Regardless of the time or place it can seem like we have seen it before, regularly and repeatedly. But if we always approach the problem from the same vantage point – asking how the event is represented – we run the risk of missing vital…