Professor David Campbell was at the Coventry University on november 17th.
A sum-up of his talk can be found here.
What do I think ?
” What is the story you really want to tell?”
This essential question from David Campbell define the work of a photographer: Story Telling. Indeed, now, he can’t just take a picture, show it, and go away. He has to explain the context, to allow viewers to understand the whole story. However, as the question says, the photographer chooses to tell that events or not and with that particular detail and not that one. That’s his work, his art !
” not influenced by personal feelings interpretations or prejudice, based on facts.”
A photographer can’t be objective: he chooses to deal with this subject which is directly linked to him, to his own story. He is a part of the context. His life can allow viewers to understand better his work.
This is a very important difference between a photographer and a journalist. This one has to cover events in the world to convey informations. When he chooses a topic, he must be objective. And the subject match with what people want to know, what they are expecting.
So, where the photographer takes place? Where is he ? In which area can he evolve ?
Must he become an objective journalist ? Or must he become really engaged and makes real choices ?
“This is a picture I did not take of a man in a blue tracksuit walking across a snowy, barren field, carrying a white plastic bag from a drug store in one hand and a 2-liter cherry soda in the other, and upon reaching the middle of the snowy field, the man stopped, set down his plastic bag, unscrewed the cap of his cherry soda and brought it to his lips; a man in blue tracksuit, in the middle of that white expanse, drinking bright red sweetness.”
When Pete Brook begins to work on the practice of Photography in prison, he didn’t expect to find coverages. Since October of 2008, he collects informations, and pictures. His website works like a magazine, or a diary.
In Photography and Narrative classe, at Coventry University, we have the luck to speak with him about the Haiti earthquake in January of 2010.
This is 4 articles he wrote about that subject:
What do I think about that ?
On Tuesday, 12 january 2010, a magnitude 7.0 earthquake destroyed Haiti. The Port-au-prince prison has been partly demolished releasing inmates in the Cité Soleil. At Las Cayes the prisoners took the control of the prison for several hours.
This disaster permitted to the whole world to discover the current situation of Haiti: the misery, the violence, the constant terror of the gangs … The new haitian president Rene Prevail took a lot of measure to restore peace in the country, but with the earthquake, the gangs are back and terrorize the population.
It’s complicated for a journalist to explain in one article that very complex situation. The many issues doesn’t make the task easier. We need a patchwork of writings, pictures, videos to clearly understand what’s really happened in Haiti. Unfortunately, the earthquake in Haiti is less covered than the hurricane Katrina in america. Why ? Maybe the medias cover more the events which take place in countries where the hearers are. People feel more concern and shock when the disasters are near to them. When the problem is close to them, they realize that they aren’t invincible, it could happen to them !
The United States offered their help to build a new judicial system. It’s a good example of the consequences of a disaster. In that case, the issues of Haiti are exhibited at the world, and the other countries want to do something. People are asking why a such tragedy happened ? What could we do improve ? What could we do to prevent another one ? The Haitian political, human, economic aspects are judged and reappraised. Would we talk about the misery in Haiti without the earthquake ? Would we denounce the not human conditions in the prison ?
We really can’t answer to these questions, because the media tornado is too much unstable, unpredictable, and depend mostly on the auditors not on the important news.