Skip navigation
Help

Sebastian Junger

warning: Creating default object from empty value in /var/www/vhosts/sayforward.com/subdomains/recorder/httpdocs/modules/taxonomy/taxonomy.pages.inc on line 33.
Original author: 
Nathan Ingraham

Screen_shot_2013-03-28_at_2

Conflict photographers have the opportunity to create powerful and enduring images that can live on to define a time period — the downside is that they typically have to put themselves in harm's way to do so. Tim Hetherington, one of the more famous conflict photographers in recent memory, was killed while covering the front lines of Libyan city Misrata in April of 2011; now, his story will be told by his friend and filmmaker Sebastian Junger in Which Way is the Front Line From Here: The Life and Time of Tim Hetherington. Junger previous worked with Hetherington on Restrepo, a documentary about the Afghanistan war that premiered just before Hetherington's death.

The documentary, which was shown at this year's Sundance Film Festival,...

Continue reading…

0
Your rating: None

<< Previous | Next >> Katie Khouri

<< Previous | Next >>View all

When photojournalist Tim Hetherington suffered a mortar shell wound to the groin in Libya in April of last year, he ultimately died of massive blood loss. His death, according to friends, may have been prevented.

“Tim was my closest friend,” says Michael Kamber, founder and director of the Bronx Documentary Center. “He bled to death because he was surrounded by photographers who didn’t know how to stop the bleeding.”

In response to this assessment, Hetherington’s other close friend and co-director of the Oscar winning documentary Restrepo, Sebastian Junger, founded Reporters Instructed in Saving Colleagues (RISC), of which Kamber sits on the board. The organization simulates real war-injury scenarios at the Bronx Documentary Center, complete with pools of blood, contorted limbs and frenetic movement amid smoke-clad air, in order to train photographers and journalists in potentially life-saving techniques. “We go to great lengths to achieve the feel of war,” says Kamber.

“My adrenaline was going after I finished shooting the drills,” says photographer and Bronx Documentary Center volunteer, Katie Khouri. ”There was a real sense of urgency once trainer Sergeant Sawyer Alberi threw the smoke bombs and the CD of wailing and sporadic gunfire started. The trainees — all of whom are experienced conflict journalists – are a fun group of people but when the simulation began everyone switched into go mode.”

The need for medical training among journalists is especially desperate now as news outlets are employing freelancers — many without insurance or institutional support – to deliver stories.

“The industry is closing down bureaus. Increasing we are relying on freelancers for photographs. Look at the images from Syria, almost all of those are by freelancers, many of whom are without medical training or medical kits. It’s a recipe for disaster,” says Kamber, who has reported from over a dozen conflict zones during his career and even admits that he was unprepared in the past.

In recent years, the deaths of several photojournalists have reminded us of the extreme dangers faced by reporters in conflict zones. Getty photographer Chris Hondros died in the same mortar explosion as Hetherington; Anton Hammerle was killed by Gaddafi loyalists in April 2011; and Rémi Ochlik died in the bombing of Homs, Syria, in February of this year.

Prior to Hetherington’s death, he and Kamber were in the planning stages of a center devoted to video and photo documentary work.

“The Bronx Documentary Center is in Tim’s honor,” says Kamber. “It is dedicated to exactly what he believed in.”

Producing still and moving images for news, for film, for art spaces and for education, Hetherington believed in and practiced an approach to visual journalism that broke through the traditional confines of genre. The Bronx Documentary Center described by Kamber as a “community space, but not a hangout space” is devoted to serious application of skills and engagement. That extends from practical and vital training to exhibitions, lectures and workshops.

“We’re inventing new ways [to support documentary] and finding new outlets for documentary work, now that traditional media is dying and the public are distracted by a million points of white noise,” says Kamber.

Kamber lived in the Bronx during the eighties and says the support form the local community has been only positive, even during the conflict simulations that spill smoke, noise and blood onto the adjacents streets.

“Hundreds of people come by to stop, watch, comment, take photos and encourage us,” says Kamber. “Last year, when some neighbors heard the recording of the gunfire, they called the police, which is understandable. This year we’ve been very conscious to reach out to the NYPD.”

Unlike general hostile-environment training, RISC is focused on exclusively on medical training and on the procedures that will sustain someone between injury and the hospital front door. Tim Hetherington was only minutes from a hospital when he was struck by mortar fire in Misrata, Libya.

Through fundraising, RISC covers the cost of training which is approximately $1,000 per journalist. Following successful programs in New York, RISC plans training in London and Beirut. The response has been overwhelming. Kamber says, ”We’ve waiting lists. Journalists are desperate to get this training.”

Rookies, veterans, untrained and partially trained alike, there is a very real need for RISC’s type of training and photographers know it.

“You could see in some faces that it was taking them back to some bad memories,” says Khouri. “The reality is that potentially having to save an injured fellow journalist is a very real possibility when you report from the front lines. No one there took that responsibility lightly.”

RISC has an ongoing fundraising effort at Global Giving. Visit the RISC website and follow RISC on Facebook and Twitter

All images: Katie Khouri

0
Your rating: None

by Sophia Jones

  • A Free Syrian Army fighter in the Bustan Pasha neighborhood of Aleppo, Syria, Aug. 21.

    Hide caption
    A Free Syrian Army fighter in the Bustan Pasha neighborhood of Aleppo, Syria, Aug. 21.

    Previous Next

    Courtesy of James Lawler Duggan

  • A Free Syrian Army fighter dodges sniper fire in the Salah Al Din neighborhood of Aleppo, Aug. 22.

    Hide caption
    A Free Syrian Army fighter dodges sniper fire in the Salah Al Din neighborhood of Aleppo, Aug. 22.

    Previous Next

    Courtesy of James Lawler Duggan

  • Free Syrian Army fighters exchange fire with regime forces in the Salah Al Din neighborhood of Aleppo, Aug. 22.

    Hide caption
    Free Syrian Army fighters exchange fire with regime forces in the Salah Al Din neighborhood of Aleppo, Aug. 22.

    Previous Next

    Courtesy of James Lawler Duggan

  • Free Syrian Army fighters take cover from a Syrian attack helicopter in the Sakhour neighborhood of Aleppo, Aug. 23.

    Hide caption
    Free Syrian Army fighters take cover from a Syrian attack helicopter in the Sakhour neighborhood of Aleppo, Aug. 23.

    Previous Next

    Courtesy of James Lawler Duggan

  • A Syrian civilian shows marks of torture after his release from regime forces in the Bustan Pasha neighborhood of Aleppo, Aug. 23.

    Hide caption
    A Syrian civilian shows marks of torture after his release from regime forces in the Bustan Pasha neighborhood of Aleppo, Aug. 23.

    Previous Next

    Courtesy of James Lawler Duggan

  • Free Syrian Army fighters take position in the Salah Al Din neighborhood of Aleppo, Aug. 22.

    Hide caption
    Free Syrian Army fighters take position in the Salah Al Din neighborhood of Aleppo, Aug. 22.

    Previous Next

    Courtesy of James Lawler Duggan

  • Free Syrian Army fighters exchange fire with regime forces in the Salah Al Din neighborhood of Aleppo, Aug. 22.

    Hide caption
    Free Syrian Army fighters exchange fire with regime forces in the Salah Al Din neighborhood of Aleppo, Aug. 22.

    Previous Next

    Courtesy of James Lawler Duggan

  • Young Syrians run for cover as a Free Syrian Army fighter returns sniper fire in the Bustan Pasha neighborhood of Aleppo, Aug. 21.

    Hide caption
    Young Syrians run for cover as a Free Syrian Army fighter returns sniper fire in the Bustan Pasha neighborhood of Aleppo, Aug. 21.

    Previous Next

    Courtesy of James Lawler Duggan

  • Free Syrian Army fighters take cover from helicopter fire in the Bustan Pasha neighborhood of Aleppo, Aug. 21.

    Hide caption
    Free Syrian Army fighters take cover from helicopter fire in the Bustan Pasha neighborhood of Aleppo, Aug. 21.

    Previous Next

    Courtesy of James Lawler Duggan

  • A Free Syrian Army fighter climbs through a damaged wall during fighting in the Saif Dawla neighborhood of Aleppo, Aug. 24.

    Hide caption
    A Free Syrian Army fighter climbs through a damaged wall during fighting in the Saif Dawla neighborhood of Aleppo, Aug. 24.

    Previous Next

    Courtesy of James Lawler Duggan

1 of 10

View slideshow i

When the Arab Spring broke out two years ago, photojournalist James Lawler Duggan grabbed his camera. As waves of protests pulsed through the Middle East, Duggan, on a leave of absence from the Corcoran School of Art, followed conflict through Bahrain, Libya, Egypt and finally into Syria.

This past August, he crossed the Turkish border and made his way to Aleppo to capture images of Free Syrian Army rebel fighters. Working for Agence-France Press, his photos were distributed all over the world.

As helicopters fired rockets and regime tanks rolled through abandoned neighborhoods, Duggan, 25, set out to document what he says gives meaning to his own life: the human extreme.

Photojournalist James Lawler Duggan.
Courtesy of James Lawler Duggan

Photojournalist James Lawler Duggan.

His work represents a delicate balance between accessing risk, taking meaningful photos and dealing with the aftershock of seeing such extreme violence.

"Photographing something graphic spares you the trauma of it," he explains. "The focus on capturing the frame affords you a callus. But it catches up to you later."

Unarmed, Duggan put faith in the Free Syrian Army fighters who were guiding him — while also trying not to become too emotionally attached to them, a survival technique in its own rite.

"I never broke down crying in Syria," he says, looking down at a photograph of a man with crimson torture scars on his back. "But I have since I came home."

The photo, taken in a Free Syrian Army safe house, shows a man who had just been tortured by Assad regime forces. It is perhaps Duggan's most widely published photo.

A Syrian civilian shows marks of torture after his release from regime forces in the Bustan Pasha neighborhood of Aleppo, Aug. 23.
Courtesy of James Lawler Duggan

A Syrian civilian shows marks of torture after his release from regime forces in the Bustan Pasha neighborhood of Aleppo, Aug. 23.

Minutes before the photo was taken, Duggan explains, two civilian men walked into the room, one looking clearly roughed up. The other man at first seemed unharmed, but when he took off his shirt, Duggan clicked his camera. "At the moment, it wasn't clear the power the photo would have," he says.

In a way, the shot could symbolize how the war is everywhere in Syria — even if it seems hidden.

Photographers in war zones often have to be in the line of fire in order to capture it. While Duggan says he doesn't take unnecessary risks, he acknowledges the incredible dangers of "bang-bang photography," referring to a group of photographers who documented apartheid and violence in South Africa in the early '90s. Looking back, he says he can think of numerous occasions where he jumped headfirst into a potentially deadly situation.

"It's fashionable for conflict photographers to tell each other to be safe and not to take unnecessary risks, but at the end of the day, we're all trying to get closer and push the envelope. I spent two of my nine lives in Syria," he admits.

This month, he (along with this blogger) will be participating in RISC — Reporters Instructed in Saving Colleagues — a course that gives freelance journalists medical training for life-threatening situations. The program was set up by Sebastian Junger, a friend of photographer Tim Hetherington, who was killed during the conflict in Libya.

"I'm honored to get this opportunity," Duggan says — adding that all freelancers should prepare for the realities of combat.

He says he constantly thinks about the impact of his career on friends and family. "I wear a flak jacket for my mother, not my editor or anyone else. My mother."

You can see more of James Lawler Duggan's work on his website.

Sophia Jones is an intern with NPR News.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

0
Your rating: None

Feature and Essays 

First to Middle East…again….

Great series from Gaza by Andrew McConnell on Panos website…

Andrew McConnell: Leaving Gaza (Panos: September 2011)

Rena Effendi: Women of the Egyptian Revolution (Newsweek: September 2011)

David Levene: The Lives of Palestinians (Guardian: September 2011)

Moises Saman: Post-Gaddafi Tripoli (NYT Lens: September 2011)

Natan Dvir: Eighteen (TIME LB: September 2011) Arab Teens in Israel

Olga Kravets: The Shelter (Salt Images: September 2011)

Adam Ferguson: Afghanistan Soldiers Skyping (TIME LB: September 2011)

Graham Crouch: Red Cross Kabul (FotoStrada: 2011)

To other features…

Joseph Rodriguez: Welcome to Newburgh, Murder Capital of New York (New York Magazine: September 2011) article

Todd Heisler: Sound Stages in New York (NYT Lens: September 2011)

Sven Torfinn: In Uganda, Losing Land to Planted Trees (NYT: September 2011)

Thilde Jensen: Canaries (NYT: September 2011)

Gesche Würfel: Basement Sancturies (Foto8: September 2011) Würfel’s website

Lucy Nicholson: A Gay Military Family (Reuters: September 2011)

Tom Hyde: After the Fall (burn: September 2011)

From VII…

Anastasia Taylor-Lind in VII magazine…see later in this blog post for some VII transition related news…

Anastasia Taylor-Lind:  Resurgence of the Cossacks (VII Magazine: September 2011)

Ron Haviv: Glimpses of the Fall of Tripoli (VII: September 2011)

Mikolaj Nowacki: The River Odra (VII Mentor: September 2011) Nowacki’s website

I don’t remember if I posted this already earlier… quite possibly…Lynsey Addario’s NGM series on Baghdad on VII website…

Lynsey Addario: Baghdad (VII Network: September 2011)

Mads Nissen: Bessarabian Blues (Panos: September 2011)

Long 40 photo edit of Andrea Star-Reese’s Urban Cave…

Andrea Star-Reese: Urban Cave (Visionproject.org: 2011)

Maciej Dakowicz Cardiff nightlife photos were heavily discussed last week after being published in Daily Mail…Here the photos in NYT Lens…Comments in the Guardian and BBC

Maciej Dakowicz: Cardiff After Dark (NYT Lens: September 2011)

Myrto Papadopoulos: In the Grecian Caves Where Time Slows  Down (NYT Lens: September 2011)

Kosuke Okahara: Transnistria: An Unrecognized State Caught Between Past and Present (TIME LB: September 2011)

Max Whittaker: 80 on 80 (Prime Collective: September 2011)

David Walter Banks: Craziest Vacation Spots (Newsweek: September 2011)

Washington Post: Reframing Mexico (WP: September 2011) Reframing Mexico project website

John Vink: Cambodia Land Issues (Magnum: September 2011)

Finlay Mackay: London 2012 (TIME LB: September 2011)

Dan Giannopoulos: The Orphaned Elderly of Kathmandu (TIME LB: September 2011)

Peter Funch: Composite Characters (TIME LB: September 2011)

Brian Cassey: Soulless in Seoul (Fotostrada: 2011)

Paul Russell: Country Shows (BBC: September 2011)

“Your friend doesn’t have a fucking pool!” Alec Baldwin and other portraits by Jake Chessum…

Jake Chessum: Celebrity Portraits (Life.com: September 2011)

Agencies

VII Photo is going through some changes… British Journal of Photography’s news editor Olivier Laurent is keeping us up-to-date with news as they come in…So far, BJP has confirmed Stefano de Luigi will be full member, whereas VII Mentor Agnes Dherbeys has left VII to be an independent photographer. At the moment, Olivier has unconfirmed  list of photographers who have been offered  full membership with the agency and I’d imagine we’ll get the confirmations very soon…

BJP: VII Photo in transition (BJP: September 2011)

Stephen Mayes did imply in his comments that not everyone has been accepted, but it it would seen most of the Network photographers, such as Lynsey Addario, Ashley Gilbertson and Tomas van Houtryve,  have been made full members…No word on the future status of previous Network photographers Gafic, Kurzen, Domaniczky, Bouvet, or Bruce at the moment, or any of the VII Mentor photographers apart from Dherbeys…I’d imagine a lot of the Mentor photographers staying in that category, as it was only Network that’s gets disbanded…I have word that no new Mentor photographers were taken in at this time.

I can confirm that Anastasia Taylor-Lind, despite not being included in the BJP’s ‘unconfirmed list’ at time of writing this, has been offered full membership. Until now she was part of VII Mentor.

I was skyping with Anastasia earlier today, and asked about her initial reaction:

After 2 years on the VII mentor program under the guidance of Ron Haviv, I am utterly delighted and honored to become part of VII Photo. The mentor program is a wonderful and successful idea, and something I am really proud to have been part of. I’m excited about my future at VII and being part of an exceptional group of photographers, who are in turn supported by wonderful agency staff.”

Congratulations! Well deserved.  You can find Anastasia’s website here and blog with recent tear sheets here.

Speaking of VII…

Books

Fancy a look inside VII’s upcoming Questions Without Answers book? Yeah? Well, see here for sample pdf.

photo: Joachim Ladefoged from series, A Vanishing Way of Life, 2003

Slideshow in their archive

Should be a great book…. Would also love this…

The New York Times Magazine Photographs (Aperture 2011)

Afterwards: Contemporary Photography Confronting the Past (Thames&Hudson: 2011)

Communities

Emphas.is September 2011 newsletter

Videos

National Geographic: Search for the Afghan Girl Pt 1 |Pt 2 | Pt 3 | Pt 4

Interviews

Kathy Ryan on The New York Times Magazine Photographs book (spd.org: 2011)

Danfung Dennis : Hell and Back Again (NYT Lens: September 2011)

Alec Soth (The New York Times Magazine’s 6th Floor blog: September 2011)

Victoria Will trying to convince 35mm photographers to try out Hasselblad…tasteful advertising….(unlike)

Victoria Will (Hasselblad US: 2011)

Fred Ritchin : What Matters Now (La Lettre: September 2011)

Steve McCurry (Oprah)

Michael ‘Nick’ Nichols : National Geographic photographer ditches website, turns to the iPad (BJP: September 2011)

Olivia Arthur (IdeasTap)

Farzana Wahidy (NYT Lens: September 2011)

Elizabeth Hingley (e-photoreview: September 2011)

Erik De Castro : Back in Afghanistan, ten years later (Reuters photo blog: September 2011)

Nick Oza (Image Deconstructed: September 2011)

Articles

“Hard times have spawned great art — but not these hard times, it seems.”

LA Times: Where’s today’s Dorothea Lange? (LA Times: September 2011)

Guardian: The excess is not in alcohol but in Britain’s self-loathing  (Guardian: September 2011) Maciej Dakowicz’s pictures of Cardiff revellers are lapped up by a country that pictures itself as broken, boozing, morally sick

PhotoShelter blog has a piece about the most dangerous places to work as a photographer…

photo: Sebastian Meyer

PhotoShelter: The 14 Most Dangerous Locations For Photojournalists (PhotoShelter: September 2011)

NYT piece on AP photographer Anja Niedringhaus’ At War exhibition in Berlin…

NYT: At Berlin Show, One Photographer’s View of the Post-Sept. 11 World (NYT: September 2011)

Reportage by Getty Images:  “Hi, my name is Spain, and this is my story.”(Reportage: September 2011)

From Telegraph's Telephoto...

Telegraph: Afghanistan? There’s an app for that (Telegraph: September 2011) The humble iPhone is changing photography on the frontline

Telegraph: Revealing landscapes: the photography of Joel Sternfeld (Telegraph: September 2011)

BJP: Could Once Magazine, an iPad-only photography magazine, represent a new revenue stream for photojournalists? (BJP: September 2011)

BJP: Harry Ransom Center acquires Elliott Erwitt’s archives (BJP: September 2011)

BJP: Ways of Looking Bradford photography festival (BJP: September 2011)

Guardian: Featured photojournalist, Mark Blinch (Guardian: September 2011)

Verve: Chelsea MacLachlan (Verve: September 2011)

PDN: Beatles Photographer Robert Whitaker Dies

PDN: Top 10 iPad photo portfolio Apps for the iPad

Bill Gates v. Photojournalists (Concertiumnews.com: 2011)

Seven by Five: Who is using your photos without permission?

Awards, Grants, and Competitions

Application open for the inaugural Tim Hetherington grant

News and Documentary Emmys : Tim Hetherington’s and Sebastian Junger’s Restrepo won two Emmys (Outstanding Continuing Coverage of a News Story, Long Form, and an editing award for Outstanding Individual Achievement In A Craft)

Luis Valtuena International Humanitarian Photography award

New Scholarships Available For Photojournalists Returning To School : NPPA

Lucas Dolega Award

TIME is looking for the best young photographers of 2011…NB. Only US students need apply it seems

TIME : Next Generation : Submissions will be accepted beginning October 3, 2011, at 12 a.m. EST, until midnight on October 17, 2011. Winners will be announced on LightBox on October 26, 2011.

Jobs

Ben Curtis, Middle East photo editor for AP, named chief photographer for East Africa

Part time multimedia coordinator :  ActionAid : London

Fundraising

Human Right Watch: Facing Power: A Print Sale to Benefit Human Rights (HRW)

Events

Festival of Photography : Wild Day : Sunday 2 October 2011 : Royal Geographical Society : London | full program PDF

Services

Luxlab

To finish off…

Rude hand gestures of the world

If you are like me and not really into computer games, perhaps this ‘war journalism game’ Warco will get even us excited…or not…

Warco

and…

10 photo compliments

0
Your rating: None

Features and Essays

I love 15th of every month as the following month’s National Geographic features hit their feature hub… Two good photojournalism pieces in the October issue…which I’m very much hoping to receive in the mail…We became annual subscribers for the first time…Time mag too… Buying single copies ends up getting rather costly…

Terrific photos by Kitra Cahana…Subject: “Moody. Impulsive. Maddening. Why do teenagers act the way they do? “…

Kitra Cahana: Teenage Brains (NGM: October 2011) Cahana’s website

Mark Leong: Ulanbaatar, Mongolia (NGM: September 2011)

If you enjoyed Leong’s essay, do also see Timothy Fadek’s Mongolia work…done last year, but definitely worth having a look, if you aren’t familiar with it…

Timothy Fadek: Mongolia: Golden Promises (Photographer’s website: September 2011)

Uriel Sinai documents life West Bank settlements as Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas prepares to ask the United Nations for statehood…

Uriel Sinai: Inside West Bank Settlements (Time: September 2011)

Related…

Amnon Gutman: The Promised Land (Foreign Policy: September 2011)

Julien Goldstein: Ramallah: Portrait of a West Bank City (MSNBC: September 2011)

Stefan Boness: White City (Panos: September 2011) Tel Aviv

To other stories…

Dominic Nahr: Somalia: The Catastrophic Famine (Magnum: September 2011)

Larry Towell: Afghanistan 2011: MEDEVAC and the Taliban Close-up (Magnum: September 2011)

Denis Dailleux: Scenes from a Ghana Witch Camp (Newsweek: September 2011)

Mads Nissen: Chinese Roulette (Panos: September 2011)

Warrick Page: Pakistan Floods (Guardian: September 2011)

Seamus Murphy: 17 Years in Afghanistan (Life: September 2011)

New York Times: Repressing the Religious Majority (NYT: September 2011) Photographer’s name withheld probably for security reasons

Brendan Corr: Faithful Albion (Panos: September 2011)

Chiara Tocci: Life After Zog (Foto8: September 2011) Tocci’s website

New Yorker: Beyond Words: Photography in the New Yorker (New Yorker: September 2011)

Sam Phelps: Train Portraits Pakistan (Photographer’s website: September 2011)

Sam Phelps: Gadani Ship Breaking Yard, Pakistan (Photographer’s website: September 2011)

Steven Siewert: Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly! (Agence Vu: 2011)

Piotr Malecki: Where Meat Means Money (Panos: September 2011)

Martina Bacigalupo: Wanawake, Being a Woman in Congo (Agence Vu: 2011)

I didn’t know Ara Güler is a Magnum photographer…That’s what Guardian states anyway, and indeed his photos are in the Magnum archive, eventhough he is not listed in the members….Enjoyed these Istanbul frames…Especially since we are heading there end of November for Veronica’s 25th birthday…

Ara Güler: Istanbul (Guardian: September 2011)

Newsweek: The Mexican Suitcase: History Lost and Found (Newsweek: September 2011) Related in NYT T Magazine

Ron Haviv: Blood on the Grass (VII Magazine: September 2011)

Ron Haviv: The Making of Dan Choi (Global Post: September 2011)

Kate Brooks: In the Light of Darkness: A Photographer’s Journey After 9/11 (TIME LB: September 2011)

TIME Lightbox featured some of the great work available for purchase at Friends of Anton to support Anton Hammerl’s children…

photo: Kenneth Jarecke

TIME Lightbox: Banding Together for a Fallen Colleague: The Friends of Anton (TIME LB: September 2011)

Also available at Friends of Anton…Yuri Kozyrev’s iconic Libya photo… Remember the moment he took it?  Others running away, but Yuri still shooting behind Tyler Hicks.

It’s great so many photographers have donated prints…Now they need people buying ‘em!

More features…

Allison Payne: College Bound (TIME LB: September 2011)

Zhe Chen: Bees (Inge Morath Foundation: September 2011)

Elinor Carucci: Pregnancy, Birth, and Motherhood (TIME LB: September 2011)

Lori Grinker: Piecing Together an Ancestral Puzzle (NYT Lens: September 2011)

Greg Constantine: The Places Where Nowhere Is Home (NYT Lens: September 2011)

Andre Liohn: Arab Spring (Photographer’s archive: September 2011)

Etienne de Malglaive: Storming Tripoli (Photographer’s archive: September 2011)

Interviews

Photographer Kitra Cahana talks about her NatGeo assignment about teenagers…

Kitra Cahana (NG: September 2011)

Toby Smith (MorningNews: September 2011)

Martin Parr and his fancy new camera…he seems to be pretty excited about it as you can see below…

Martin Parr (Youtube: September 2011)

Although, it’s not really his camera, is it? Magnum have partnered with Nintendo…. Related  on PopPhoto and PetaPixel

Some really good interviews on the Ideas Tap website…

George Georgiou : Photographer (IdeasTap: September 2011)

“I invest myself emotionally in the people I photograph – not just to gain their trust but also to make myself feel comfortable. I’m not a quick, brash photographer – I was encouraged at Newport to understand compassion and humility and understanding, and that’s something I’ve tried to adhere to. “- Ivor Prickett

Ivor Prickett : Photojournalist (IdeasTap: September 2011)

“Realistically, unless you’re an individual like Ryan McGinley, it’s going to take 10 years to establish yourself: five years to pay the rent and five years to hone your practice. But the beauty about photography is, if you make it work for you, you never have to retire” – David Birkett

David Birkett : Photography Assistant (IdeasTap: September 2011)

Laura El-Tantawy (Burn: September 2011)

Martin Roemers (Noorderlicht festival: 2011)

Hans Aarsman (Ted Talks video on Conscientious: 2011)

Sebastian Junger (Guardian: September 2011)

Damon Winter (APE: September 2011)

Erroll Morris :  Truth Outside Photographs (NPR: September 2011)

Doug Mills (C-Span: 2008)

Jason Howe (BBC: September 2011)

Fernando Moleres (BJP: September 2011)

Michael Mack : Mack Books: From print to the iPad (BJP: September 2011)

Platon on Perry: Behind the Scenes of the Cover of TIME (TIME LB: September 2011)

Philip-Lorca diCorcia (ASX: 2011)

Kosuke Okahara (La Lettre: September 2011)

Philip Cheung (Thisisthewhat: 2011)

Pete Brook (NYT Lens: September 2011)

Pete Brook (BJP blog: September 2011)

Articles

John Stanmeyer has written more about working for National  Geographic…

Must read. John Stanmeyer: The Amazing Yellow-Bordered Magazine, Part II (Photographer’s blog: September 2011) Side note: Noticed Stanmayer’s blog presents us a differently processed file from his NGM Girl Power story. His own vision?

Joao Silva back at work…

NYT Lens: Joao Silva at the White House (NYT Lens: September 2011)

Olivier Sarbil was injured in Libya last week…

French freelance journalist wounded in Libya as NTC battles on (Vanguard: September 17, 2011)

Olivier’s friends have shared info on Facebook that he is now back in France, at Percy Hospital in Paris – a military hospital that specializes in injuries from the battlefield. I wish him good recovery. | Olivier’s website

Very good piece on pricing your work….

Jessica Hische: The Dark Art of Pricing (Jessica Hische blog: 2011)

Guardian: Joel Sternfeld’s First Pictures: the opening chapter of a colourful career (Guardian: September 2011)

photo: Peter van Agtmael

Leo Hsu: HomeFrontLine at Silver Eye (Foto8: September 2011) the exhibition

photo: Christopher Anderson

BJP: iPublish: Photojournalists turn to the iPad to tell their stories (BJP: September 2011)

BBC: On Bruce Davidson Subway photos (BBC: September 2011)

Foto8: Preview of Jocelyn Bain Hogg’s new book The Family (foto8: September 2011)

Thames and Hudson: Magnum Contact Sheets: Design # 2 – The Jacket (Thames and Hudson blog: September 2011)

David Campbell: Who Believes Photographs (DC: September 2011)

PDN: Burmese Photojournalist Sentenced to 10 More Years (PDN: September 2011)

APE: Real World Estimates – Magazine Article Reprints by Jess Dudley (APE: September 2011)

Unbelievable….

Poynter: Daily Mail lifts from WP, then asks its reporter for help finding photo (Poynter: September 2011)

Life: Taking Great Portraits (Life: September 2011)

Huffington Post: Reuters Raises Profile With Marquee Hires, Editor Aims To Become ‘Best In The World’ (HP: September 2011)

The 14 Most Influential Cameras of All Time (Adorama: September 2011)

Guardian: Featured photojournalist: Attila Balazs (Guardian: September 2011)

Guardian: Wolfgang Tillmans’s best shot (Guardian: September 2011)

photo: Jason Lee

Reuters: Unmasking the masked boy (Reuters blog: September 2011)

NPR: A Teenager’s Photo That Helped Inspire Libya’s Revolutionaries (NPR: September 2011)

Crowd funding…

PhotoShelter : 14 Tips to Crowdfund Your Next Photo Project (PS: September 2011)

Social Media Examiner: 11 Tips for Crowdfunding: How to Raise Money From Strangers 

Events

Epen Rasmussen : Transit : Frontline Club : 7pm Thursday : 22 September

multimedia

World Press Photo Enter

Awards, Grant, and Competitions

Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize shortlisted works seen in the Guardian last week… (see that bigger here)

BJP: Shortlist unveiled for Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2011

International Photography Award 2011 | Deadline extended | Entries close 26th September 2011

Unicef POY 2011 (Lightstalkers)

Conscientious Portfolio Competition 2011 Winners

Congratulations to Matt Dunham and other winners at The Picture Editors’ Guild Awards…

Journalism.co.uk: AP photographer overall winner in press photography awards |slideshow The Picture Editors’ Guild Awards 2011 (Guardian: September 2011)

BJP: Deadline approaching for Carmignac Gestion Photojournalism Award

Young Photographer of the Year Competition 2011 

Screenings

MSF Delivers 3D film exhibition at Spitalfields market in London from 22nd to 27th September…I went to Duckrabbit/MSF 3D photofilm premiere on Monday at Royal Society of Medicine here in London, I was very impressed.

Videos

Annie Leibovitz : Life Through a Lens 

Nick Turpin: In- sight

Portfolio reviews

Roof Unit Portfolio Reviews 

Photographers

Zalmai

Samuel Aranda

Jamie-James Medina

Scott Goldsmith

Katherine Leedale

Mary Turner | archive

To finish off… Dingle!!!!

Final end note…The Twitter feed has now 20,000 followers. Can’t be all bots,so thanks for following.I’ll try my best to keep the tweets relevant and interesting…

0
Your rating: None

This SlideShowPro photo gallery requires the Flash Player plugin and a web browser with JavaScript enabled.

Hover over the image for navigation and full screen controls

Anton Kusters

Odo Yakuza Tokyo

play this essay

Below is an excerpt of my conversation with Anton Kusters, talking about the birth of his first book. We are sitting on my front porch during a beautiful sunrise. Somehow appropriate. Even more appropriate is that today is Anton’s birthday.

-DAH

DAH: Well, the bottom line is, Anton, you have your first book… Tell me, a first book is comparable to what?

AK: It’s… It feels like I actually did something for the first time. I mean, it’s not that the book was more work than the project itself, but… it does feel like I took a step in some way, like a kind of achievement in some way, for myself, personally. It really feels like a personal victory. And whatever that victory, that achievement, will mean to the outside world, I would almost say, that is out of my hands. I mean that in the best possible way. I love seeing cutting my book “loose” into the world, let it go, beyond my control.

DAH: So… Validation?

AK: Validation… a little bit a sense of pride deep down inside… that I could actually pull something off, because for some reason, it always feels like nothing is really complete, or at least this project could not be complete, without the validation of a physical object, like a book, an exhibition… like Massimo Vitali said at LOOK3 a couple of days ago… “I’m looking at the picture as that unique physical object, impossible to see separate from the plexi it is printed on”

DAH: …Yes… I don’t know if everybody feels that way…. I certainly feel that way also, if there’s no physical object then there is nothing, actually.

AK: Yes

DAH: There’s instruction, there’s information, it’s up there on the screen, but it’s meaningless without the physical object…

AK: … things remain fleeting until something physical is made.

DAH: and even though you reach fewer people, it doesn’t matter –

AK: Yes… You reach so many less people… I mean, the internet is like multiple, you reach multiples of the audience of the book… but… I think the feeling it will never change as to what it must have been before the internet… it must be still exactly the same, that kind of feeling… the internet adds to it, but the feeling of selling the book, making the book, is… is something… is a different category. at least it feels like that. And seeing friends and strangers, complete strangers, hold that book, and look at them while they are looking at the book. that’s the thing that completes the circle for me.

DAH: You don’t see that on the internet, you don’t see that with an international magazine either… occasionally you do by accident, at the airport you see somebody looking through one of your articles, and of course they flip right through it.

[laughs]

Let me go back on a couple of basic things: so… it’s fun to have a book out there.

AK: Absolutely.

DAH: I remember, Sam Abell said one time, to me, “David, when you do your first book, life will change”. And he was right about that: after your first book, life does change.

AK: Yea… I feel it does… I mean, I don’t know, I obviously it’s too soon to say because it’s only hitting the stands right now, I mean “the stand”, singular, being here on burn, so I don’t know what the actual impact will -

DAH: – Oh I predict that, I think this book will, I think this, your limited edition of 500 copies, of a very well priced book and a very high quality book, and a very heart felt… done book, I think that this book will sell out in less than two weeks. That’s my prediction. I think it’ll be gone in ten days. Something like that, I really think that.

I think that people will, people will feel that this is a one of a kind object, as you described, there are people who get more out of photography than seeing, to flick a page, or even on burn or anything, anything that’s online, and will go for that physical object. and they’ll see it the same way that they saw Alec Soth’s “Sleeping by the Mississippi”, and they’ll want to be one of the ones to have an original, first edition, from the first five hundred.

AK: Yea… and it’s, it’s almost like I wish there was this tactile… extension to the internet where you could make people reach into the screen and pick up the book to be able to feel it, that they can feel what the object is like, because I feel that that’s such an important aspect.

DAH: Your book is a physical object, it’s a beautifully done physical object, and the printing and the binding and the making of this book are clear, and speak to the subject… So tell us a little bit about… the making of the book in relationship to the subject of the book.

AK: That’s of course pretty crucial, as I regard the book as an integral object of what the project is about… I mean, I’ve been fortunate enough to have worked at a printer a long time ago, and that opened a whole new world to me back then. But it wasn’t until last year that I realized was using all that knowledge for this book.

I completely did the process all by myself, I designed the book, I found the right papers and the right printer, prepared for print, went to press, and oversaw the binding…. I learned obviously a lot during the process, but… it’s such a fun thing to do, it’s a lot of work, you gotta follow up everything personally, but you’re basically taking up the role of, of…producer

DAH: OK, so we’ve covered the thrill of having the book… and the physical production of the book. But I think the word of mouth on the physicality of this book will quickly get out there, and I think that, you and I are of like mind of what Burn does, and our basic philosophy is a quality one.

AK: Yes… whatever the case, quality comes first, and that’s why I was so happy that you were willing to endorse and write the foreword for the book, because I knew that you would never, ever, even as a close personal friend, you would not do that if you wouldn’t be very sure about the quality of the work.

DAH: No, I would not do that. Of course I’m expecting a hell of a kickback from this book, I’m expecting a lot of money into my my bank account [laughing]

The thing is… photographers do want to do books, and I think everybody knows, that books are not how we make money, but you will, even if this book is a raging success, you won’t be paying your home bills with this book, no matter how successful this is….

AK: I might break even on some aspect of the printing, and I’d be really really happy if that happened, but I’m pretty sure I can forget about trying to pay for all the trips I took.

DAH: Now tell me a little bit about how the subject of your book.  Any way you look at it, is going to be controversial, inside Japan, outside Japan, all around the town. I mean, you’ve turned into a physical object of photography, a crime organization. So. justify that for me please.

AK: Justify…

DAH: I mean, don’t justify it for me, because I understand it…. Justify it to those who might be reading this.

AK: I think it goes back to the fact that I’ve always taken aback by… prejudice. I’ve always been taken, really taken aback by blanket statements, I’m taken aback by the judging of people and things… Personally, I’ve always asked questions instead, being inquisitive, at least in my mind ask questions, trying to understand things…

I do not want to be a judge in my photography. I want to be a witness in my photography. A faithful witness of my own vision. A vision which I know is shaped and skewed by my upbringing and my life’s experiences.

I guess that’s why the Yakuza project actually quickly turned into something different than I expected, I started to feel that it’s a way of life more than anything else… and that’s where I latched on. The bad part or the good part for that matter, very quickly became irrelevant after that. The subtle shades of grey are the key.

Who am I… can it ever be my right to say about someone that he is “bad”? about anyone?

DAH: So your essay, your book is, how would you describe what it is in relationship to a crime organization? is it a revelation, is it an exposé, is it a behind-the-scenes? what is it exactly? what are you telling us with this book?

AK: Well… that’s a good question. I might have to find that one out as we go along, because I actually just want to show, I think, basically what I just said, I started feeling that that Yakuza is many shades of grey, and not simple black vs white.

DAH: so is that your, your…mission?.

AK: It’s the subtlety of the story that hit me, I think it would be kind of easy, or cheap, in a way, to show the Yakuza and what they do, instead of what they are, because I would, in a way, stereotype them, and that is something I don’t want to ever do to anybody.

DAH: yeah… do you want me to get you another coffee?

AK: yes, sure.

DAH: you drinking it black?

AK: as always

DAH: OK. Here, think about this question: what do you think the Yakuza are going to think about this book? What are they thinking that this book is? You’re thinking that it’s a revelation of some sort, what do they think it is? Everyone wants their thing out of it.

[DAH gets a cup of coffee]

AK: Interesting question… The thing is, I think, and I have the feeling, that they want to have, kind of a chronicle of their family, of sorts, a chronicle of what they are about.

DAH: When I look at the pictures, I  don’t see them doing anything bad… If I weren’t reading about the Yakuza, or know about the Yakuza, your pictures here do require text, and context, which, I think, only adds to the texture and to the feel of these photographs. Is that correct? They seem here to appear as traditional Japanese businessmen.

AK: Yeah… Though you can’t really misinterpret the tattoos, covert training camps, prostitutes and severed fingers.

DAH: So aside from the fact that people who buy this book are going to receive a physical object, and a lot of visual stimulation, on a topic that you have decided was worth photographing, what do you, what do you think that people will get out of this book, or should get out of this book, besides the fine object aspect of the book? Because it is a documentary. it is not a conceptual thing.

AK: Actually, I would like to describe this as a conceptual documentary, because I have no intent, to tell the truth, but rather I have the intent of telling the Yakuza story as I personally experienced it, me, Anton Kusters, the person and character that I am, with all my flaws and shortcomings, and I will most probably see things in a completely different way and therefore be sensitive to, and concentrate on, the things that strike me or touch me… the shades of grey i see, the realization that being Yakuza is a way of life more than anything else. I hope others will see that too.

DAH: So in that sense you are being very documentary, mission oriented documentary. In that sense.

AK: Yeah. in that sense. I could even consider that a mission in life in general.

DAH: I know exactly where you stand on this. Personally, for me, I find any topic interesting, if a someone, if a photographer, if a writer, or a film maker is telling me that they are interested in whatever the topic is, whether it’s the sinking of the Titanic, as a piece of history, or Restrepo, a war story by Tim Hetherington, or your story on the Yakuza. I don’t really care, I mean, somebody who is a storyteller, or a visual artist, if they have decided that they’re going to do this particular thing…. i’m not ranking subject matter by some subject matter being more important, or right, than others. It becomes important by the fact that this particular storyteller is going to tell it.

AK: Yep. About Tim…. I met Tim only a couple of times, and the last time we talked at length about the Yakuza project, which was then only halfway, and he was the one who also told me, like you had always told me too, David, because there was one particular picture, when he saw that one he stopped in his tracks and said “this is the one” and that was the picture of the empty table with empty glasses and cups and a burning cigarette and the two empty chairs, the full ash tray, and he said “right there, that’s the kind of image, that’s the image you have to have in there, because there you are saying that you are personally telling that story that is your story, and that you are not just ‘covering’ the Yakuza”… and I hope I have taken that to heart.

DAH: well I think there is no doubt that you’ve done that. The only thing left I wanted to ask you is… you will now probably spend the next year working on the film, on the same topic.

AK: I hope that works out, yes. There is… we’re starting, my brother Malik and I are starting to, because obviously film is way more complex than photography from a production point of view, my brother will be doing sound, I will be doing video, the moving image…. I hope that works out… we’ve got a good story. And the book, offering the book to the Yakuza bosses now, tomorrow I’ll be flying over to Tokyo to, you know, present the book to them, give copies as a gift, which will hopefully open gates.

But again, this will be way more complex, also financially… so, I will be using the potential success of the book as a gauge for myself, if it’s viable to continue on that path or not. But I obviously feel I should do it no matter what. so I hope it will work out.

On the other hand, photographing daisies is great fun too.

Buy the book here on BURN:

Buy Now

Bio:
Anton was born in Belgium. He grew up in Australia, Saudi Arabia and Belgium, and has been visiting Japan ever since his brother moved there a decade ago. The long term YAKUZA project started out three years ago, and the first major step now has been taken with the book “ODO YAKUZA TOKYO”.
Anton feels that life should be about going deep down rabbit holes as much as you possibly can.

Related links:

www.antonkusters.com

0
Your rating: None