Exhibitions: WAR/PHOTOGRAPHY: Images of Armed Conflict and Its Aftermath

IN CONVERSATION

Our visitors respond to this 30-second video.

  • What do you think of the term "documentary photography" and how do you define it in relation to your work?

    — Anne

    Hello Anne,
    Thank you for the question. To be honest I'm certainly not a "documentary photographer" and have never been quite sure what one is. There are many overlapping trends and disciplines in photojournalism. "Documentary Photography" is a very broad term and historically suggests a purest and subjective approach to the medium; someone not following the headlines and the deadlines but instead working on a project over a matter of months or years. My heart has always been in the news.

  • What have your experiences in military training, before an assignment been like? How much training did you need to go through?

    — Victoria

    Hi Victoria,

    Thank you for the question. I have no military training…which sometimes scares me. I'm a strong believer in common sense; whether working on the streets of New York or of Baghdad. Also, some of the things I've learned about working in a conflict zone I've picked up from older and more experienced photographers. Military experience can help, but at the end of the day you need to realize that you will be on your own without a weapon, uniform or back-up help. A good journalist needs to be extremely self sufficient in these environments. The one skill I would advocate learning is first aid.

  • Do you feel or believe your images help the world? If so how?

    — Anderson

    Hello Anderson,

    Thank you for the question. I'm not sure I believe my photos change the world, but I do think they play a small part in informing the world. I'm a great believer in the idea that we need to have a better understanding about other societies, especially those that are different from our own. Im also a strong defender of the news.I think there is no excuse for not being a well informed citizen today. Not only on issues and stories that are personally close to you, but on conflicts and crisis's on the other side of the world. We as a people, regardless of nationality, have a common interest to help and assist each when in need. Strong photojournalism can be an effective vehicle for showing our common humanity.

  • Can you (roughly) describe how you became a conflict photographer, was it a career choice or did you somehow glide into it?

    — Jan

    Hello Jan,
    I would not call myself a "conflict photographer" but more of a standard photojournalist who covers conflicts from time to time. When I started in journalism in my twenties I immediately knew that I would want to cover serious topics; that I would want to cover history in the making. War is a serious narrative of life, death, suffering and the shaping of history. As a photojournalist It both thrills me and terrifies me. It is a privilege to be in a conflict zone and I often have to remind myself that. To witness events, close up, that have such a profound affect on our world is something few people get to do. After my first visit to Albania, while in my twenties, to cover the breakdown of the Albanian economy I immediately knew that I would want to cover global events.

  • When taking pictures are you in danger? When you are at a conflict qis there any protections offered by the military?

    — Richard Stevens

    Hello Richard,
    I wish I could say I am not in danger when taking pictures in a conflict zone but the truth is that we often are; most moments we are sadly unaware of the danger. The profession is becoming much more dangerous for reporters and photographers as war becomes more asymmeticral and journalists become targets. It used to be the the media was viewed by waring parties as neutral. In the last decade this has changed dramatically so that now we are often viewed as fair game.