June 5th, 2013

Events, Awards and Other Photo Happenings

Events

Tonight at the New York Public Library, photography educator and historian Deborah Willis will discuss Leonard Freed‘s photographs of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Joining Willis on the panel will be photographers Eli Reed and Jamel Shabazz, scholar Paul M. Farber, writer Michael Eric Dyson, and Freed’s widow, Brigitte Freed. The event begins at 6pm.

The Chris Hondros Fund, which supports photojournalism with fellowships and other programs, is holding a benefit online print auction through June 7. Work by Slim Aarons, James Balog, Al Bello, Andrea Bruce, Robert Capa, Ernst Haas, Michael Kamber, Ed Ou, Joao Silva and many other photographers is for sale.

Free seminars at Review Santa Fe start this Friday with “The Business of Photography.” On Saturday a panel of photographers will discuss “New Methods For Engaging Audiences,” and on Sunday Guggenheim Fellow John Gossage will lecture on “Contemporary Photographic Practice.” For more public events check out the Review Santa Fe event schedule.

Italian photographic education organization Cesura is running a travel workshop in Cairo in November. Led by Gabriele Micalizzi, who covered the Egyptian revolution, workshop participants will also have the option of a two-day supplemental workshop with photographer Moises Saman.

Awards

Kevin Miller received The New Orleans Photo Alliance‘s 2013 Michael P. Smith Fund for Documentary Photography Grant for his project on the Panama Canal expansion. (more…)

August 1st, 2011

Joao Silva’s First Assignment Since His Injury a Fitting One

Photojournalist Joao Silva, who lost both of his legs last October after stepping on a landmine in Afghanistan, took on an appropriate first assignment for The New York Times last week: photographing the closing of Walter Reed Army Medical Center, the hospital where he worked to recover from his injuries alongside soldiers wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan.

As detailed in a post on Lens, the Times’ photography blog, Silva was already covering the hospital’s closing ceremony when the assignment came in from national picture editor David Scull and Michele McNally, the Times’ director of photography.

Silva’s image of a crowd observing a parachute demonstration at the closing ceremony ran on page one of the newspaper on Thursday.

Related:

Photographer Joao Silva Wounded in Afghanistan

Fund Established for Injured Photog Joao Silva and Family

Joao Silva Being Treated at Washington Army Hospital

Joao Silva Takes First Step on Artificial Legs

May 6th, 2011

Silva and Marinovich: “I have never had a death wish”

If you’ve read  “The Inner Lives of War Photographers,” the article Bill Keller, executive editor of The New York Times, has written about his visit to photographer Joao Silva at Walter Reade Hospital, you’ll be interested to read the full transcript of Keller’s interview with Silva and his friend, photographer Greg Marinovich, which is posted on the Lens blog.

It’s a wide ranging discussion covering the ethics of their profession, their families’ feelings about their dangerous work, citizen journalists in war zones, the obligations of clients to the journalists they hire to cover conflict, surviving on a photographers’ pay, and more. It highlights the different perspectives of Marinovich who, after being wounded four times, decided to give up war coverage for his family, and Silva who says, if he weren’t laid up in a hospital bed after stepping on a landmine in Afghanistan, he would want to be in Libya now, “no question.”

Their conversation is characterized by the self awareness and candor that makes The Bang-Bang Club: Snapshots from a Hidden War, co-written by Marinovich and Silva, such a good read.

The interview is too long  and rich to summarize, but here are a few of the passages that got our attention.  For example, here’s Marinovich, pondering the number of photojournalists killed on the job:

Marinovich: I have this great difficulty with this sentimentalization of what happens to journalists in war zones. We go there voluntarily. We have a privileged position because we can leave when the going gets tough. And often, you have money, which makes a huge difference in your safety. Not that I think that journalists should get hurt and that I don’t have any sympathy.

Later, Keller brings up the public’s fascination with war photographers.

Keller: Let’s go through the mythology. One of the myths is that combat photography gives you a hard shell. Another one is that you’re all cowboys. Another one is that you’re all vultures.
Marinovich: That might be the only thing that might be true.

Silva: For an outsider, it’s easy to perceive us as vultures, when you see us walking through pools of blood and corpses just to get that perfect shot that will esthetically show the situation as best as you can so it can be printable in a newspaper. So yeah, we will be perceived as vultures. But in many ways internally — at least speaking for myself — I know that I’m out of place. I feel it all the time. Give me combat any day. Give me the bang bang. It’s very exciting. And during combat, if one of them gets hurt, it’s fair game. It’s what they do. But the civilian casualties side of it, it’s heartbreaking.

Keller also asks Silva what advice he would give a young photographer who wants to make his or her name by covering conflict.

Silva: I’d want him to understand — if he really wants to follow the combat aspect — that what he is getting himself into potentially could cost him his life and no picture is necessarily worth it. Despite what people have believed, I have never had a death wish. The first prize has always been to come home after an assignment. I’d want to make these things very clear to him before he embarks on his first adventure.

He and Marinovich note, however, that by the time photographers ask for advice on the subject, it’s too late to talk them out of it.

Silva says he has been racked by secondary infections following his operations, including recent surgery for intestinal reconstruction. On a hopeful note, however, his physical therapy and use of prosthetic limbs is “actually going exceptionally well.” Proof of that came today when the Lens blog posted a video of him walking on the artificial limbs without assistance.

December 9th, 2010

Emilio Morenatti Visits Joao Silva in Hospital

Joao Silva, The New York Times photographer who lost his legs to a land mine in Afghanistan, got a hospital visit on Sunday from a photojournalist who was also injured by an explosive device 17 months ago. AP photographer Emilio Morenatti, who lost his left foot and part of his left leg in Afghanistan in August 2009, visited Silva at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center on Sunday, the Times Lens Blog reports.

Morenatti, who is based in Spain, had just completed a month-long assignment in Haiti, his first time covering an international crisis since his injury.

After his visit with Silva, Morenatti told the Times, “Joao is stronger even than I was,” he said. “He will be — for sure — an example for all of us.”

Like Silva, Morenatti was treated at Walter Reed. According to Lens Blog, he and Santiago Lyon, the director of photography at AP, convinced the Times that the hospital, which regularly treats veterans wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan, was the best facility for Silva.

Morenatti said that, like Silva, he found the volume of supportive and encouraging emails encouraging. The message he took from Silva: “Try not to send mail right now, because I can’t read and answer all the mail I’m receiving.”

Related stories:

After Injury, AP’s Emilio Morenatti Is Again Covering Disaster

November 4th, 2010

Joao Silva Being Treated at Washington Army Hospital

Photo courtesy of Michael Kamber for The New York Times

Joao Silva, the New York Times contract photographer who was severely wounded when he stepped on a land mine in Afghanistan on October 23, has undergone “repeated operations” at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC , according to his long-time friend and former collaborator Greg Marinovich. Marinovich has reported that the South Africa-based Silva “lost the lower part of both legs” while embedded with a US infantry unit in Kandahar Province.  Silva, accompanied by his wife, Viv, was flown to Walter Reed on October 29 from the US military hospital at Ramstein Air Base in Germany.

Michele McNally, assistant managing editor for photography at The New York Times and David Furst, the paper’s international picture editor, visited Silva after he arrived at Walter Reed.  “He’s a very strong man,” McNally says of Silva. She tells PDN his spirits were good during the visit. When she offered him a drink of water, Silva said he would prefer a beer.

The fund that Marinovich established to collect donations for Silva and his family through the Web site www.storytaxi.com has so far raised over 4,000 Euros.  (The site is run by Hekaya Digital Storytelling, a non-profit organization.) Marinovich says he is also organizing a fundraising dinner and auction, and adds that Photoshelter has offered a dedicated web site for licensing Silva’s images which will be live soon can now be seen at joaosilva.photoshelter.com

Related Stories:
PDNOnline: Photographer Joao Silva Wounded in Afghanistan

PDNPulse: Fund Established for Injured Photog Joao Silva and Family