Sunday, December 7, 2008

Stanley Greene

I went to go hear/see Stanley Greene last night at SFAI. I think that by far his work and his passion as a photographer has made the greatest impression on me from all of the lectures that I have gone to this semester. He is a photojournalist and made the disclaimers that it isn't a glamourous, exotic, well-paid adventure. His presentation of Chalklines- A Russian Opera, was a short film of stills from his ten years of documenting the war in Chechnya and its people. His work was an amazing body of portraits in this country and his presentation made it apparent that having to worry about snipers and bombs going off constantly is a serious stress that war/conflict/photojournalists have to contend with. He has started an agency for "photographers without borders" called NOOR, which he hopes 'will bring light to the darkest of places in the world'. It is a vital job that he holds and I don't think that it is appreciated enough what photojournalists of this caliber experience to capture the stories that they do. He spoke about one experience that haunts him, of men clubbing two figures, setting them aflame, then dragging them through the streets and then hanging them. He was brought in by these insurgents to photograph this act. These men and women suffer unimagiable horrors and risk their lives to bring us news. How can someone depict humans in such acts of evil and remain untouched? How can we?

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