james nachtwey – struggle to live

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James Nachtwey

Struggle to Live – the fight against TB

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James Nachtwey has documented the resurgence of tuberculosis and its varying strains MDR and XDR in seven countries around the world. These countries include Cambodia, Lesotho, South Africa, Siberia, India, Swaziland, and Thailand. He has captured the lives of both patients and health care workers in the struggle against this ancient disease, which still remains very much a part of the present. Not only does TB remain a killer disease in its most recognizable form but it is mutating into even more deadly forms: multi-drug resistant (MDR) and extremely drug resistant (XDR) TB. While still a small subset of the TB cases, these new strains pose a grave global health threat. XDR-TB is a man-made catastrophe, resulting from too few resources being allocated for the proper diagnosis and treatment of TB patients in developing countries.

“Despite the fact that tuberculosis afflicts a huge number of people it’s not on the radar screen in terms of public awareness. Normal tuberculosis, if diagnosed and treated diligently, is very inexpensive and doesn’t take very long to cure. But if normal TB is not treated, it mutates and becomes 100 times more expensive, requires a two-year cure and a long stay in the hospital, which many of those infected cannot afford. The thought of XDR getting out of control is truly frightening,” says James Nachtwey.

 

Bio

James Nachtwey’s career as a war photographer began in 1981 when he covered civil unrest in Northern Ireland. Since then he has photographed more than 25 armed conflicts as well as dozens of critical social issues. He has received the Robert Capa Gold Medal, World Press Award, Magazine Photographer of the Year, and I.C.P. Infinity Award multiple times. He has been named recipient of the TED Prize, the Heinz Foundation Award for Art and Humanities, the Common Wealth Award and the Dan David Prize. “War Photographer”, a documentary about his work, was nominated for an Academy Award in 2002. His photographs are in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art and the Bibliotheque Nationale de France, among others. Nachtwey has been a contract photographer with TIME Magazine since 1984 and is a founding member of the photo agency VII.

 

Exhibition

401 PROJECTS

present

Struggle to Live – the fight against TB by James Nachtwey

401 west street NY, NY 10014

on view from:
january 20, 2010 to march 25, 2010

 

 

Related links

James Nachtwey
xdrtb.org
www.viiphoto.com

 

Editor’s note:

I am very proud to be able to publish here on Burn our first sponsored photographer essay. This has literally been months in the making and representatives from BD came to us with James Nachtwey’s  blessing after our Burn presentation at the Look3 festival.

This will be revolutionary for Burn and the industry and perhaps serve as a model for future  online sponsorship for photographers. As most of you know, this has been my goal all along. To be able to pay photographers for online representation of their work with rates as good or better than current print rates for major publications.

We are starting by kicking the door down with James Nachtwey. However, in all of my discussions with BD and some other potential sponsors, my primary intent is to provide funding for the emerging photographers who are what Burn is all about. I intend for the ratio of iconic photographers like Jim to emerging photographers to be one to three. One icon, three emerging. I want to see a world where the icons lend a hand to the next generation of serious photographers in documentary and in art. By starting with this model, I hope I can help make this come true. At least now, we have a real start. I will continue to work to complete the circle.

For those of you who feel they should be “in the mix, in the running”, make sure I know your work. Either by submitting work to Burn or the EPF or by knocking on my door. This is happening. Now.

Customizing sponsors to specific photographers and projects must be taken very seriously. Matching the right funding to the right photographer is  imperative to the sponsor , to the photographer, and to Burn. This is where the net can excel. The nature of the net allows this to happen, and because we are a small operation, we can offer premium exposure and minimal investment to qualified sponsors, pay the photographer well, maintain all photographer copyrights, and bring enough income into Burn so that we can best serve more photographers and readers/writers in the long run.

At Burn, we are now in a position to customize sponsors with photographers and/or subject matter to be assigned. While this work in the Nachtwey essay was photographed prior, our goal is to finance original photography as well. We have the ability to build out an essay/project so that the sponsor is 100% pleased and the photographer is 100% pleased as well. On this one, and in everything we will build in the future, the sponsor and the photographer and we at Burn become symbiotic in nature.

We are very flattered here at Burn that a leading medical technology company like BD would choose our humble magazine to make their first online general magazine funding. We are equally flattered that James would choose Burn as well. So, we have done all we can to make it more than right for both parties.

We will do the same for whoever comes next.

-david alan harvey

 

This presentation was made possible through the kind support of:

bd-small

 

74 Responses to “james nachtwey – struggle to live”


  • James will not be responding to comments right now under this essay because he is now working in Haiti

  • Wonderful. I am so excited about this development. I have a couple ideas that I’ve been working on, passively, that I need to kick into high gear.

    Can’t wait to see where this will all go.

    Wonderful.

    Thank you.

  • yes yes – this is a great idea.. fantastic to see it develop.
    the idea of matching sponsors with photographers is a good one and if there were general sponsors for work which would not fit into most benefactors remit, even better.

    also good to see james extending the life of his TED wish and stay with this project..

    well done anton and david.

  • wow..
    strong imagery…
    the power of photography..
    for
    change,
    education
    and
    hope……
    ***

  • Just got done watching the slideshow. Crushing. It was nice to see a slight uptick in moods towards the end. I certainly don’t envy anyone who follows that.

    How does one get “in the mix?”

  • Important and hard hitting yet heart-felt work from Jim. In this case Jim’s narration is equally important as the photographs. Thanks David and Anton for presenting this work, helping Jim get the word out about XDR-TB, and showcasing world-class photography.

  • Sincere thanks to all involved for the profound work done to tell this story and to allow the documentary vehicle continued reach in the future. Effort, hope and love.

  • Beautifully photographed and presented. Heart wrenching yet hopeful at the same time. As a practicing pharmacist and photographer this really hit home for me. MDR/XDR has been on the rise in the developing world for some time and has also now started to appeared in the West. This is an urgent medical need. I applaud BD for putting their resources behind this project. I personally have thought of approaching companies like GlaxoSmithKline to cover the malaria epidemic in the developing world. This provides a model for such efforts and I hope more will follow.

    Matching photographers to sponsors is a such an innovative idea I really hope it comes to fruition in the way David and Anton envision.

  • That Nachtwey bloke’s pretty good for an emerging photographer…
    And now the serious bit:
    I wish you the very best of luck David with your mission…here’s to it’s
    continued success.

  • Well done David for pulling this off, huge respect.

    Would have loved to actually hear the voices of some of those in the photographs. That would have made me feel they are more a part of the world then apart from it.

    Look forward to where you’ll be taking this next …

  • “Be an opener of doors for such as come after thee, and do not try to make the universe a blind alley.”-Ralph Waldo Emerson

    congratulations BURN on looking forward toward the support of photographers and envisioning a world in which relationships can be forged that are not immediately recognizable….as i wrote here and at APhotoEditor long ago, the future is not bleek, but as inspired as the vision each of us wish to bring to our lives…..

    it is nice to have seen the TED vision carried forward and what to say about the photographs. It is a sustained and powerful examination and nice to see work shuttled here that will allow unknown photographers to tie their work to well-known/iconic work….to me, that is the real vision: a democracy of vision….

    I liked very much Mikhael Subotzsky’s take on this essay (in an earlier incarnation), whose mother is a doctor in S.America….about our relationship to photographing tragic moments in lives, but that will wait for another day….

    congratulstions to Jim and David and Anton and the entire Burn community:

    which means ALL OF YOU!

    all the best
    cheers
    bob

  • David:

    Excelent evolution of Burn. My congrats! Now regarding the TED story, there was a controversy raised some months ago at Conscientious, that even though I don’t suscribe (i really like Nachtwey work), it´s interesting to read: http://jmcolberg.com/weblog/2008/10/some_thoughts_on_the_visual_language_of_photojournalism.html

    Regards
    Jorge

  • Good work, Davd, for persevering in your commitment to obtain sponsors for Burn projects. I know from personal experience how daunting a task it is to find funding for photographic projects, especially in today’s economy. But you did it! So now, with BD’s support and Jim Nachtwey’s genius on display, Burn is on the cusp of revolutionizing how photographs will be seen in this new age of internet accessibility. Big thanks to all who have made this happen.

    Patricia

  • What a skyrocket – thanks to everybody in there – and out there!
    No more words – I’m speechless.

  • This opened my eyes. … wow.

  • Wow. Brought a tear to my eye, much as watching the news over the last few days has. I can’t even begin to imagine the pain and suffering.

    We had a TB scare of our own this year, right here in sleepy ol’ Seattle. We do a nanny share with another family – the mother is originally from Vietnam and she came down with TB – one of the 2 billion latent carriers. Fortunately everyone else checked out negative (myself included). The treatment can be really heavy duty, esp for a baby to be exposed to so much antibiotic at such an early stage of development.

  • FANTASTIC!! this is terrific David! Jim’s words with the images are so powerful. BURN is truly kicking down doors. WAY TO GO!! xoo

  • …beyond words!

    as a student of photography, i feel that there is one kind of photography which makes me feel inspired so as to push me to work harder and harder in order to dream of reaching that level one day…then suddenly when i stumble upon works like the present one of JN, i become totally disillusioned about my own humble abilities as a photographer… if that is the standard set by him, then may it is not worth a try after all! i wonder if he was invisible when he was photographing!

    thank you James Nachtwey…people like you make life worthwhile…

  • for quality and impact, it doesn’t get any better than that.
    James, may you stay safe,and the force be with you.

  • Mr. James, congratulations for getting published on Burn! Mr. James always knows where to shoot, and how to shoot – talent. Nice pictures indeed.

  • bodo,
    you will reach that level one day… probably. Just remember, you have to be where the story and the pictures are, and solve the access problem… The sense where that story and the pictures are, is you key to success… this sense is also called talent.

  • bobo,

    sorry, I forgot one more thing – you also have to know how to take those pictures that you see in front of your eyes, otherwise it’s called the lost opportunity.

  • Powerful images, powerful relationships (at all levels). Thanks to all those involved for bringing this project to us. If this kind of work doesn’t change the world, then nothing will.

  • “If this kind of work doesn’t change the world, then nothing will.”

    It wont… but it can have an effect..

    http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/01/19/assignment-21/

    Ron Haviv’s take on this kind of issue (..The answer is simple: How can you not bother to do it? Photography can’t change the world. But can have an effect.), would like to know James Nachtwey’s..

  • Heart clenching.
    I just had no idea of the depth of the problem.
    Such beautiful pictures, made with respect.

    And Burn, wow, long may you continue with your generous spirit.

  • That one of the brother and sister holding hands, really got me.

  • Kicking the door down indeed.

    How incredibly moving. How heart-breaking. Now we know why Mr. Nachtwey has the status he does. Powerful stuff. Words fail, so much humanity, such beautiful images. The beautiful opening image reminds me so much of Smiths Tomoko in the bath.
    I’m moved and humbled.

  • What can I say, what wasn’t said a thousands times?
    Definitely the best piece of work published on burn ever.
    Definitely one of the best photo essays I’ve seen ever.
    Powerful, moving, heart clenching.

    How to be a piece of history of photography in a half way of photographic journey?

    hats off mr. Narchtwey and good luck

  • Sorry for breaking the one comment rule….but i needed a few hours, after my initial viewing and initial comment to lay something in addition, which is NOT related to the success and generosity and vision of burn (as my first comment attempted to celebrate) but a simple thought about this essay….

    i shall not speak of the images, for they are indeed powerful and seasoned and filled by a lung-full of love and depth of patience…

    i shall not speak of the content, which in light of all the suffering that surrounds us, all the suffering of which so many have been both aware and numbed/blind too, for that it bares our own responsibility to open both our eyes and our selves to what surrounds us and others, far and wide…

    but i shall simply say that what lends, to me, significance to the endeavor of one’s life is a very simple one, a simple truth (for me) born of an idea, of a belief system, that requires each of us to be aware and to help, to be aware of that which surrounds you and surrounds others, part of the 8-fold path, the noble truths, the instance that we must continue to focus our awareness, our connection to others and from ourself look and see around…..

    to know that it is not what we do with the ways of our lives (doctor, worker, photographer, spiritual leader) but how we carry out the ways of our lives….

    that we are enobled, if i dare say, only through that service we offer to others through our love and connection and understanding that we are only that: part and parcel of one another….

    One of his students asked Buddha, “Are you the messiah?”
    “No”, answered Buddha.
    “Then are you a healer?”
    “No”, Buddha replied.
    “Then are you a teacher?” the student persisted.
    “No, I am not a teacher.”
    “Then what are you?” asked the student, exasperated.
    “I am awake”, Buddha replied.

    we must be awake to others and in our wakefulness attempt, in whatever way we can, to help others for we are each other’s keepers, of mind and body, of living and dying, we are each…

    that, to me, is again the simple message of this piece….that we are each other’s keepers, one and all

    thanks for sharing

    b

  • Educational enlightenment that sets the wheels in motion on all fronts.

  • Reminds me of Michelangelo’s Pieta, sadly, but at least adding a profound beautiful dignity of some sort, to the suffering of these forgotten human beings.

  • Excellent work!
    DAH did you forgot about my submission? Can you mail me please? Thanks

  • BOB…

    you did not break any one comment rule…open comments on this one

  • Im sorry but didnt I see this essay two years ago?? Big fanfare, LOTS of media coverage.
    is this a follow up or a plug for an exhibition?
    When it was released I thought this was a fantastic piece of photography (lots didnt), but that was a long time ago.
    what I want to know is, whats happening now?. What did this essay do?
    What has changed, and been changed by this work, two years down the line?
    And why is it here now???

    PEACE

    John

  • John..:)

    david alan harvey
    January 19, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    JIM…

    yes, b&w (your personal favorite) and yes more misery and suffering…however, in this case, when Jim showed these pictures to members of the U.S.Congress, several million dollars(do not hv exact number) was allocated to TB research and aid..so this essay does two things that you are normally and correctly critical of…(a) something actually happened in real terms of action to allay more misery and suffering (b) a photographer was paid for his work on Burn and with more to come …all signs imo point to the net becoming the same income producer for photographers heretofore only reserved for print…the evolution is indeed happening…still, the truly important thing is that awareness does work…or, at least can work…not all the time, but some of the time can alleviate some suffering…and imo eliminating some is better than doing nothing at all…i am sure you would agree that both a & b are important and i am sure we both wish for the same to continue….

  • Sometimes i think Natchwey’s talent proves he’s not human, but then when your in the presence of his photographs all you feel is his humanity. Thank you David for all your efforts with burn, and let me know how if you can hear me knocking on your door from Australia.

  • JOHN GLADDY…

    you are correct…this essay is approximately two years old…i wrote earlier that when this work was shown to U.S. Congress that several million dollars (still trying to get exact number) was allocated to helping aid TB victims…so, yes, something DID happen in those two years…

    you may have seen these pictures before , but obviously not everyone has…few have in fact, and why not run it again? you must not have read my editor’s note…many magazines run stories which already exist..that is how all of us at Magnum, VII, etc earn a living…by distribution of these stories and one time publication…and one time publication rights….and the more distribution of a story like this, the better….as you can see/read, most Burn readers have NOT seen it before…

    the whole point here ,beyond the obvious TB message, was that it gave Burn our first funded sponsorship….

    Jim was paid a good magazine space rate for publication on Burn, and Burn was paid for producing the show..the slide show you see is a new one and produced by Anton with music that could be used on the net….even i worked with Jim on the new soundtrack for a couple of days in a sound studio when i was in Thailand in the fall…Anton spent several days with Jim in New York to create this new slide show and sound track…it may look the same to you and it may look simple to have done, but we have been busting it for a long time on this one John…Kerry Payne, Anton and yours truly put a lot into this to make it happen….

    hopefully John this will become a model we can use for other photographers and sponsors…sure the iconic will be easier to sponsor, but my goal and my message to sponsors is that we really need to also fund the lesser known but equally talented photographers out there…which is the whole point of Burn in the first place…i wish i could right now sponsor work for several of our Burn photographers, who if in their right mind will really step up their work now…right this minute i cannot do this, but surely you can see my intent…i think this will happen sooner rather than later…fingers crossed….

    cheers, david

  • DAH,
    Really great to see sponsored work, it must be very satisfying to be finally seeing great sponsored photographic work on your own online magazine. As I understand it this has been your vision for Burn ever since that gem of an idea. Congratulations it is no mean feat what you have achieved here. Just getting the whole thing up and running, pulling in great photogs and sponsors to boot.

    I will crack open a beer or two for you over here in the Uk.

    keep up the good work.

    ian

    P.S. I am going to a presentation by magnum (in the UK) on travel photography at the beginning Feb

  • Merci David de faire connaître le travail de James Nachtwey via Burn. Les images sont dures et elles sont belles, c’est paradoxal.

  • Emotional….touching……human…..thank you James….

  • re: The above essay.

    brilliant access, brilliant photography, brilliant and important story, brilliant that it has changed minds,brilliant that it has produced funding. Thank you James and DAh for bringing it to our attention.

    One tiny observation/technical critisim …..Big pause… the whites of the eyes seem to have been enhanced a little too much. I personally find it distracting. I know it is a technique to draw viewers in and to empathize with the subject and it works, but for me its just too much. Portrait studios do it ad nauseum.
    In the whole scheme of the gravity of the story my complaint seems trivial.

    Cheers

    ian

  • IAN AITKEN…

    the tech part of the imagery of Jim was done by him or his studio…we did not mess with the eyes…

  • DAH,
    I didn’t for a minute think that you would have tampered with the image, I know you believe in showing a photographer’s vision…….

    Cheers

    ian

  • Seen this work before but, yet again, WAW!
    So so powerful, human, heartfelt and… just waw.
    Thank you Jim.

    - Big cheers to the Burn gang!

  • I am blown away.. Nachtwey’s images grab me by the heart with such raw intensity that they literally take my breath away. How are you able to channel that energy, the fear, the death… into photographs so effectively? How are you able to stay composed, sane, and capable of presenting the larger story while maintaining intimacy? Its a striking balance that underlines everything I’ve seen from Mr. Nachtwey. You truly deserve the role and influence of being one of the world’s best photo-documentarians.

    To DAH. It is wonderful what you have accomplished with this website. To offer a venue that caters to emerging and established photographers alike is changing the paradigm of photography. I’m overwhelmingly glad to be a part of this community.

  • MATT…

    i did not have a chance to see all of what is on your website, but did look at about half of it…i hope you will stay close and also consider submitting some of your work to Burn…your best is loose, freestyle, and with good emotional contact…many thanks for your comment and we are pleased you are here…

    cheers, david

  • Hi All,

    Great discussion taking place here.

    In response to those who have wondered ‘what’s changed’ since these images were first seen via TED, here are just a few of the gains made since then…

    1. During the TED launch, both presidential candidates made statements that they would support TB funding were they elected: http://blog.ted.com/2008/10/obama_and_mccai.php

    2. A few days after the Congressional reception “Seeing Change” with James, Congress included a contribution of $100 million for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria as part of its FY2009 Supplemental Appropriations bill.

    3. On December 16, 2009 President Obama signed the FY2010 Minibus Appropriations Bill. The Bill contained $1.05 billion for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in 2010. This is the
    largest appropriation from the U.S. government to the Global Fund since its inception in 2002.

    What hasn’t changed is that people are still dying needlessly.

    This is still a major health issue and as such, it needs to be kept front and center. Undoubtedly, there remains a long way to go and we can all contribute by helping spread the word — by referring your friends here to view this powerful presentation, by tweeting, by posting a link to your social network sites and doing what you can to keep the fight against TB alive.

    Please, I hope you will help. Every little bit counts.

    Kerry

    p.s. With thanks to Rebecca at James Nachtwey Studio for providing me with the statistical data I’ve included here.

  • So tragic. Jim N, “Deliver us from evil…”
    Be safe.

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