Conversations on Conflict Photography

January 29, 2020 - Comment

In today’s image-saturated culture, the visual documentation of suffering around the world is more prevalent than ever. Yet instead of always deepening the knowledge or compassion of viewers, conflict photography can result in fatigue or even inspire apathy. Given this tension between the genre’s ostensible goals and its effects, what is the purpose behind taking

In today’s image-saturated culture, the visual documentation of suffering around the world is more prevalent than ever. Yet instead of always deepening the knowledge or compassion of viewers, conflict photography can result in fatigue or even inspire apathy. Given this tension between the genre’s ostensible goals and its effects, what is the purpose behind taking and showing images of war and crisis?

Conversations on Conflict Photography invites readers to think through these issues via conversations with award-winning photographers, as well as leading photo editors and key representatives of the major human rights and humanitarian organizations. Framed by critical-historical essays, these dialogues explore the complexities and ethical dilemmas of this line of work. The practitioners relate the struggles of their craft, from brushes with death on the frontlines to the battles for space, resources, and attention in our media-driven culture. Despite these obstacles, they remain true to a purpose, one that is palpable as they celebrate remarkable success stories: from changing the life of a single individual to raising broad awareness about human rights issues.

Opening with an insightful foreword by the renowned Sebastian Junger and richly illustrated with challenging, painful, and sometimes beautiful images, Conversations offers a uniquely rounded examination of the value of conflict photography in today’s world.

Comments

Anonymous says:

Fantastic Book on a Difficult Topic This is a wonderful book on a difficult topic. It really gives a glimpse into this most important but challenging field of journalism.I highly recommend it.

Anonymous says:

Fantastic deep dive into the experiences of some of the bravest journalists on the planet. Read this book and you’ll soon realize how we take conflict photographers for granted. They risk their lives and suffer enormous psychological stress and trauma to keep us informed, and most of us don’t give it a second thought. This book really takes you inside — you get to hear form these people and see what makes them tick and why they do what they do. I don’t think I’ll ever read a news story in quite the same way. This was a compelling read full of fascinating people — not just news…

Anonymous says:

Meaty interviews and stunning photos Is there any niche of journalism more fraught with ethical quagmires and physical dangers that conflict photography? Print war correspondents and documentarians have plenty of room for context, but a photo taken in extreme situations can say so much in one powerful frame that its very existence sparks eternal debate: how to avoid war tourism or sensationalization or gratuitousness; how to convey horror without exploiting or succumbing to it; how to balance form and fact; how to capture a…

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