tilde de wandel – gaza

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Tilde De Wandel

Gaza

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Winter 2008-2009. Israel bombs Gaza for 3 weeks. Operation ‘Cast Lead’ kills over 1400 people. I watch the news channels and develop the strong desire to go there and experiencing the life in a war zone. I leave but I don’t get further than the West Bank.

Life under occupation intrigues me. An external power dominating your life. Being a prisoner in your own country.

June 2010. I finally manage to enter Gaza. I am confronted with a harder external structure, Israel.

I notice the ruins of a war and a besieged life. A smashed down economy and a dangerous underground replacement. A constant threat overhead, and a life that tries to find its way while constantly being watched over and controlled.

I discover the buffer zone. The literal boundary between life and death. I meet the inhabitants and their ‘we are already dead’ slogan. It feels like a suicidal struggle.

The buffer zone, the emptiness of life snatched away. A constant threat of death while inside. External forces make decisions over the life of those who want to fight, but also those who just want to live and survive.

I can’t count the dead and injured any more since I arrived. I can’t get used to the brutal circumstances in which this occurs.

There is more, there is the emptiness of life, the stolen dreams. Fantasies seems to be reduced to a strict observance of religion. As if Allah is the only one who cares about them.

Belgium seems far away, but it means I experience this life entirely. The best way to understand is to undergo.

What I get, I can’t put aside. I’m a photographer, I grab what I feel and I share.

 

Bio

I live my life on the go, physically and mentally. I choose to displace myself physically in different atmospheres.

I started my photographic work while watching myself in a changing environment. The only thing I don’t want is to get locked into the structure of day to day life. I reject it, and launch myself at completely different structures. I bump, discover, rediscover and improve my thinking, my understanding of the world.

I was born in Belgium, 1981. I studied nutrition and worked in South Africa before pursuing a degree in photography at the Academie voor Beeldende Kunst- Gents, which I finished in 2009. I have been working in Gaza since June 2010, and plan to continue working in the region.

 

Related links

Tilde De Wandel

Tilde’s Blog

 

141 Responses to “tilde de wandel – gaza”


  • Another war torn nation. More suitable for NYT’s Lens Blog, I think.

  • I love it.

  • This is a good documentary. We need to see it over and over again.
    To understand nothing is for granted.

  • A young photographer throws it all on the line – steps away from all that is safe and secure, goes out, risks his life, shoots brilliant images and constructs an essay of import focused on a conflict of critical importance to the entire world and then is dismissed in four cynical words, “Another war torn nation.”

    Yet, there is real meaning in Jim’s words, as so many have expressed here regarding similar matters in the past. We have become so inundated with images of war, suffering, brutality, starvation that we grow immune to them, fatigued by them. We see them and they slide by us, fail to move us beyond the second or two and we move on, caring no more or having no deeper understanding than before we viewed the images.

    When I looked at the opening image, it at first struck me as just another version of a photograph that I have seen 10,000 times over my life in endless depictions of the Middle East conflict. Even so, as I moved through the essay, I found that Tilde De Wandel did make me care, Tilde did broaden my understand of the horror of a war where people of military might can be so callous and indifferent to the lives of those that they oppose that they will leave a young girl whose family they have just largely wiped out trapped in rubble for three days when she could have been rescued.

    He also brought home the complexity when he showed the funeral for the 20 year old man and then later let me know that this man had set about to launch mortars that could wreak similar destruction and grief on those who killed him. He let me know how horrible it is to have young teenagers die just because they were going about life. I could feel the sense of oppression of those on the boat forced to turn back from their fishing grounds.

    Tilde – I say, well done. burn is the right forum to help bring your work before the world. Congratulations! Forge forward. And stay whole.

  • Very dramatic, Frostfrog. But Nachtwey already did “young man goes off to war and makes name for himself.” We already have “Inferno.” Isn’t that enough? Seriously.

  • Ditto everything FROSTFROG said above… except, change all the “he’s” to “she’s”… I’m pretty sure Tilde is a woman.

    Jim P: No, I believe that is not enough, unfortunately. Bearing eloquent witness is an ongoing process.

  • 18 could be quite nice with a bit of work. The rest I find too cluttered, too haphazard. Almost as if the ‘being there’ was enough. There have been so many strong photos and powerful words documenting this conflict that this, for me, fails to have any real impact at all.
    I guess a lot comes down to where you sit on the ‘story or the telling’ fence, which we had such a lively discussion about a while back.

    JOHN

  • it’s unfortunate that narratives of something as serious as war/suffering/brutality/etc. has come so close to becoming trite, but unless the photographer can create something that presents us with a different perspective/concept/approach/whatever it is very easy for their work to get lumped into a stereotype.

    whether or not this essay stands out is up for debate, but for me it falls short.

  • As long as there is war there MUST be war correspondents. If you feel that we have seen enough of it then your becoming detached from the world. Only when war is no longer plaguing this planet can we afford to stop sending correspondents and photographers. THis is real life for a massive amount of people on this planet, until the world accepts and trys to change this its not contrite or over covered.

  • …………once again photography sanitises that great art of warfare

  • Speaking to the larger issue of conflict photography fatigue, I find that I personally have little interest in it these days. Yet conversely, and still sticking to the big picture, I certainly agree that it is important and should be done. The problem is that I am fairly well educated about the woes of the world and their attendant causes so most of these works don’t tell me much, if anything, that I didn’t already know. And worse, they rarely do an effective job of communicating what I do know and would agree should be communicated. Too often, it seems, the photographer’s goal seems more to shock and convince rather than to illustrate and educate. I can empathize because I understand how it feels to see the great wrongs of the world and want to shove them in the face of fat contented middle class who supinely fatten themselves on so much injustice without a second thought, much less an acknowledgment of their (our) role in it. Nevertheless, this kind of photo work is rarely effective, practically never reaching it’s intended audience. I think Jim Powers and others are mostly correct that these things, however well-intentioned, result in little more than a circle jerk for photo enthusiasts. And even here it is more likely to confirm previously held beliefs than to provide an new and insightful way of understanding the world.

    Regarding this essay in particular, I appreciate where the photographer is coming from, caught up in the experience, trying to understand by undergoing, and trying to communicate that nebulous understanding that one’s destiny is controlled by capricious external forces beyond anyone’s control. But on one hand, I’m afraid the photographs don’t communicate that powerlessness of which the photographer writes and on the other hand, those forces aren’t really beyond anyone’s control and the essay, captions included, doesn’t provide much, if any, context for the reality it seeks to expose. Why are these people doing the things they are doing? Why are the things that are being done to them being done to them? What, if anything, does it mean?

    Also, and this is not unusual in these recent conflict zone essays, I get the feeling that the photographer has taken a side, that he or she is working as an advocate for the subjects of the essay. While this may be understandable, and in many cases even laudable, I don’t think it is particularly effective, and can even prove dangerous to the point of getting people killed. I think we need to be especially careful with images that could be used as propaganda, particularly those that could be used by leaders or other hucksters to inflame passions. I’m afraid the last image in this series is an unfortunate example of just such a photo. Image #8, on the other hand, is infinitely more powerful at communicating the essence of the photographer’s story and no one could effectively use it to get anyone killed. I think it’s more that kind of thing you should shoot for.

  • I really appreciate -and to a point admire- young photographers who go out there risking their lives to show the horrors of the world, but I count myself between those who have become 100% inmune to this type of documentalism. Not that I’m happy about it, but it’s true. I have to make an effort to keep my attention through an essay like this, not because I think this is not good photography, but because I find it boring. I’ve seen these images over and over and they just don’t move me anymore.

    As far as this essay goes, I WHOLEHEARTEDLY AGREE with MW in the last paragraph of the post above.

  • I share some of the sentiments above about having seen this stuff before and feeling (somewhat) inured to it. But I disagree with the eloquent MW about the photog having taken a side and how this is bad, etc. I think most of us would be more interested in this essay, and the photos would be more compelling, if this whole thing were MORE personal. I know what shot-up living rooms look like, as well as funeral processions (and corpses) of Palestinians killed by the IDF. But I would really like to see a highly personal, more intimate, necessarily subjective set of photos about the conflict.

    The current selection seems like a well-executed set of news photos, but as has been pointed out they don’t break new ground or reveal new contours of the conflict. But, really, there is very little to say objectively about this conflict anymore. There is not much of a story in these photos beyond the death and suffering. But there are always personal, intimate, more focused stories to be told of people who are suffering.

  • i’m sure Israel’s political leaders would be very happy for the world to forget the open air prison they are keeping.

    i’m sure Israel’s political leaders will know about this work here on Burn and wish it were not here.

    which is why i’m glad that selfless photographers like Tilde and Nobel Prize winners for Peace like Máiread Maguire, and household names like Banksy, continue to keep this grim reality in our face with the only powers they have to wield.

    it’s a well known fact that the continued futile attempts to break the blockade with supplies exist purely to keep Israel’s open air prison in the news. This photo essay may seem like another futile effort, but it fits nicely into a campaign as similar and hopefully as successful as South Africa’s Apartheid campaign. Like South Africa, boycotting behaviour is not far away based on some investment strategies for university assets to be biased against Israel in the same way that ethical funds are biased against weapons and alcohol (Google “university disinvestment Israel”). Amen.

    what Israel’s still done a great job at keeping out of the news is the vast oil reserves that exist (and they want) just (and only) off the coast of Palestine and therefore belong only to Palestine and not Israel. It will be interesting to see how that reality evolves. (google “Palestine oil reserves”)

    as kids we read about the holocaust and we were ashamed that we were part of the same race of humans, but back then, for loads of people, it seemed reasonable enough to let it happen (maybe, like this, they thought there was nothing they could do). Make no mistake, this issue is not the Holocaust, but relative to the stage of humanity we should have evolved to “post” the holocaust, this situation in Isreal is simply atrocious (google “Israeli soldier mocks Palestinian prisoners in photos”). We’re going to have to explain to our grandchildren how so many of us let this happen. We’re all part of that history that’s going to be part of our grandchildren’s shame if you fall into the attitude that Jim Powers adopts.

    actually for the first time i think Jim Powers (is that the name you’re still going by W.P.?) …Jim Powers(?) has given us a gift. His myopic behaviour has been a blessing in disguise with a lesson for all of us (and probably the reason why students are influencing the change and not the ‘powers’ of the world).

    basically, we must not forget that jaded-creatures like Jim exist and they exist in vast numbers in ‘middle America’; America being the biggest backer of the Israel’s prison (google “Netanyahu Bush Rice”). If we were all lazy enough to adopt Jim Power’s attitude, which is “what we can not change immediately with ‘information’ should just be ignored”, …we’d still have apartheid, and based on Jim’s polarity, probably slaves.

    Thanks Tilde and Burn (and even you Jim for your predicable illustration of an attitude we should all avoid). i think this is another step towards the plan to get rid of this shameful situation.

  • Ricardo Vasconcelos

    Tilde is a “she” and I will not comment on the style of the photographer under penalty of diverge myself from the main subject of the photo essay: the war. (guys let the style and aesthetics as a way of developing work, or an idea for photographic artists).

    Nowadays the democratization of technology and knowledge is a reality. Photography became accessible to a greater number of people, that also increased the number of photojournalists and consequently the number of images of, and about the war.
    Mass communication – or mass media – has destroyed the value of the image, not because it became commonplace to death or suffering, but because for them is nothing more than an image on paper. For the photographer is an intention to help and share with the world the reality that he witnesses. To the mass media the only interest in creating public opinion and explore the lode.

    Look at the example of Kevin Carter! (panos skoulidas, thanks for the tip)
    With the publication of the photograph of the Sudanese child, we watched the world question whether he had helped the child and what was her fate after the photography. They – the mass comunication – did not give emphasis to the million people who saw the photo and wanted to help children from hunger and extreme deprivation! Bu they did gave emphasis on the photographer’s ethic choices without even think that that picture costs too much for the ones behind the lens.
    This loss of sense of suffering, this trivialization of the real, the unrespect for the photographer is the poison in mass media.

    Tilde, I liked how you started the essay – strong image the #1 – and the fact that you have not focused only on individuals but also in surrounding areas.
    Nevertheless, it is worth noting that she might be living in a country with excellent conditions and she choosed to go for a war scenario. I really admire your courage.

    Ricardo Vasconcelos, PT

  • Joe, ever tried to google these three words in one sentence: Palestine and recognise and Israel..

  • Tilde – I apologize for using “he” and “his” in reference to you. Actually, the thought that you could be female did come to me. Since I didn’t know, I intended to go back and make it all gender neutral, but, somehow, I didn’t.

  • Joe wants us to Google “Palestine oil reserves.”

    Eva wants us to Google “Palestine recognise Israel.”

    I suspect Netanyahu and Abbas are quite pleased by this.

  • “We have become so inundated with images of war, suffering, brutality, starvation that we grow immune to them, fatigued by them. We see them and they slide by us, fail to move us beyond the second or two and we move on, caring no more or having no deeper understanding than before we viewed the images.”

    I would argue that there may be photographers who feel this way, but I would say that the majority of people are not exposed to these images on a regular basis if at all. Go out and take a poll of people. Ask if they know about a current conflict or human rights tragedy and find out what they really know about it. Show them the photos and see how many people react by saying “I have see this before.” I am talking about the average person on the street not your photographer friends.

    I would have to venture that conflict photographers are not creating these images for other photographers. They are not even creating them for people that know about the conflict. They are doing it to enlighten and educate the ones that do not know, or are not aware of the horrifying details.

  • Pete I agree on this one..
    In Europe yes people are exposed and view all that on the news in a daily basis..
    But here? In the US.. Not even 1%…
    although we have Internet , people are lazy .. They prefer TV.. They still believe in TV..
    Many commercials and advertisement here usually ends saying:
    (as shown/advertised in the TV)… Like that would be the ultimate validation…

  • To me, evaluating something’s influence among everyday society versus that among a collective of photographers/etc. (as Burn is) are two very different things.

    There are many works that, if spread to the masses, would be seen as new and enlightening but never make it to the top of their field. As a blunt example: if some physicist derived Newton’s Laws, he could show them to the public and most people would be learning something eye-opening, but that physicist would never get any credit in his field.

  • biggtender

    I am not sure I understand what you are talking about, but if you are saying that photographers would not get the credit or recognition due, I hardly think that is an issue. And I also bet that the photographers that are passionate about what they are doing, don’t really do it for the recognition. If someone is covering war or human suffering for recognition, then they are doing it for the wrong reasons. To the socially concerned photojournalist, recognition and awards are only useful for getting people to listen when you are trying to get funding to continue work. As for the rest, the photos should speak for themselves.

  • Ricardo Vasconcelos

    I made a mistake in the last paragraph!
    I wanted to say it’s a great effort that she’s living in a country with excellent conditions and she choosed to go for a war scenario. I really admire her courage.
    I’m sorry, my English sucks!

    Ricardo Vasconcelos, PT

  • Forstfrog sees the complexity, and Joe tells us it is very simple (it’s all Jim Powers fault, and has always been, since we all know Jim was a slave owner some 200 years ago)…

    Ok, have not finished reading all the posts, maybe more pearls ahead…

    PS: Jim, slaves before, now accomplice to gazacide…. You should be ashamed! :-))))

    The essay doesn’t crack new ways to look at conflicted zones, and of course tells us nothing about a situation that even people living there, both sides, admit that “if you think you understand what’s going on, someone did not explain it well!”, but This is no reason to disqualify it, valiant effort definitely.

  • Any of us are just a plane ticket away from conflict and tragedy. Photographing people confronting life-changing events will always open themselves to strangers, hoping they can change their circumstance. It is not too difficult to find willing subjects.

    Tilde you have passion and a desire to tell the story you have chosen to experience. Your images are trying hard to tell a story and I am so thankful that DAH has let us view what you believe is important about Gaza.

    It is hard to know how we should see your work. Your images show people who are treated unfair and their response, but why? The Middle East is guns, dead bodies carried through the streets, hidden faces, anguish and anger. You are not afraid to confront this but can your vision express an alternative? You are a witness to events. If that is enough then your task is accomplished.

    You have made a commitment to one of the most twisted and intertwined conflicts on the planet. Can you visually make sense out of it and add another voice for resolving such a complex issue? I hope so.

    “My eyes are oversensitive from seeing too much…” –Barney Cowherd

  • for me the photographs are a mix of wandering diary extracts and a little of the familiar hospital entrance / funeral / training camp shots which permeate the news, (in europe at least).
    for example – reading the text here – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-11516009 and clicking the photo link (graphic warning) could act as a metaphor for the struggle.. boys throw stones.. man runs over two boys in car.. and the discussion ends up being about the ¨use¨ of children rather than occupation or attempted murder – as the driver walks free.

    anything new? not really.. in fact there are far more shocking photos sprouting up daily in the spot news which tell of the palastinian /israel situation.

    the most interesting shots for me are the diary extract or caught frames which seem to have little to do with conflict, bar the overstretched context in the captions..
    the boat..
    the flag..
    people hanging out..

    like the bicycle shot, where the war is in the background taking the form of a shattered building, i wonder if more time spent wandering in gaza and less time invested in attempting the classic PJ shots might bring a fresher perspective?

    tilde – you clearly have an eye for good photography and from your text, (and the looks of your website), it seems as if your trip is a combination of personal growth and a movement towards a new photographic direction.

    perhaps – leave the tunnels, the balaclavas and ambulance chasing PJ work to the stringers and PJs and follow your own poetic journey, as i think the text reveals through the heavy use of the word ¨I¨ that this journey is about yourself.
    there is fresh subject matter to shoot everywhere in the world.. the conflict which i think is in your essay could be between wanting to help – thus the PJ shots – and wanting to be free to photograph..
    i think that the latter has resulted in the more atmospheric work and given time will produce a much more idiosyncratic and interesting perspective..

  • a political state with boundaries defined by religion is an explosive cocktail..

  • Stuff like this and the one linked Eva are more about taking a stack of photos and placing them after post processing into an essay to suit a personal opinion about an event or an issue that the photographer is concerned about. Soft propaganda……

  • imants
    that’s why i think more time and a more open photographic attitude might provide a more interesting body of work if, as stated, the photographer wants to spend longer there.

    the overload of information concerning fighting the war and the process of winning the peace makes this work seem obvious and rather ‘PJ by numbers’ in places. the overall bias is obvious from the initial motivation and so the photographer travelled to find something quite specific.. and of course found it.

    the two sides of the fence are so well documented and entrenched – i’m not sure simply expressing ones aligence makes for a good essay, nor a reconcilling force.
    thats where the work fails for me, particularly within the context of burn.. although there is photographic skill and a passion evident.

  • troubles and woes of average people and the struggle with war as a backdrop can be more effecting than blunt and stark mortality.. mortality which i think, (from the text), the photographer needed to see for themselves perhaps more than show the rest of us.

    hopefully this work continues and grows beyond a homage to classical PJ work, conceptually and visually.

  • The average person, doesn’t give a rat’s arse about all these photos, essays about wars, destruction etc and why should they……. they are busy getting on with the living part of life.

  • average person in Gaza or any other war zone are into survival not looking at some photo slide show about what they should be or shouldn’t be on about

  • miss. read.

    i´m talking about the idea of photographing average life in gaza, or any other war zone, rather than the extreme..
    you are talking about the average viewer of the photographs.

  • anyway, i agree that most people may not give a ¨rats arse¨ about conflict photography.. especially not those trying to live some semblance of normality within a war zone.
    still – positive change seems to be effected by the efforts of the few so i´m not sure it actually matters.

    for every 1000 people who view this kind of work passively, there may be 1 who does not.

  • for every 1000 people who view this kind of work passively, there may be 1 who does not.
    —————————–

    Problem might be when people are actively being passive seeing (because most people see pictures, it’s a rarer picture that makes people look at it, in numbers) conflict photographers. As for gaza and the middle-east enchilada, which is hardly a forgotten part of the world, or even our lives, the risk is not so much that viewers are insensitized by seeing so many visual reports, but rather that they might be educated enough to discern the pictures have nothing new to tell them. So they actively pass them over.

  • I meant conflict photographs, of course.

  • I am constantly amazed by the amount of negativity here on the subject of conflict photography or photography of human suffering. It really starts to sound like a lot of sour grapes.

    Is it the fact that they (the commenters) are not able to pursue this type of work or is it that the photographers that are doing it are getting all the recognition? Which as I said above, the majority of these photographers are not interested in recognition. Just in enlightening the average person and trying to spark action for change.

    And sometimes it works. The photos by Adams and Ut helped change the direction of the Vietnam war. Many believe that these photos and a handful of others changed history.

  • True.. But lately we have also that “zoriah phenomenon” that makes everyone suspicious and frightens them more than the war itself… $8K workshop in Haiti to “train” idiots how to shoot poverty? Nah.. That’s leeching and stealing from the suffering victims the only thing left to them: their dignity… not history changing for the better..

  • That does not diminishes Nachtwey but there’s more zoriah’s out there than Nachtwey’s..
    Too many zoriah’s to be ignored.. Embedded or not:(

  • And I applaud your over optimistic attitude towards the holy power of the press but..but..but..
    Truth to be told… Too many selfish motherfuckers out there all they care about is to make a name for their pathetic carcasses :(

  • And I’m not negative at all.. There definitely good people out there..
    Think of Tim , creator of RESTREPO

  • Pete, I think you are being far to kind to those who may mildly disagree with you. It’s not just sour grapes. They are trolls with giant chips on their shoulders wallowing in their own filth under a bridge living on a diet consisting solely of sour grapes and the bitter fruit of their pathological envy. No need to sugar coat it.

  • …that was arguably the most bitter post on this thread?

    satire maybe?

    nobody is saying that we should ignore conflict photography, or the myriad conflicts in our world today.

    best,

  • Bigg don’t stress.. It’s just Michael’s sense of humor…;)

  • ahhh.

    i had a hunch.

    thanks

  • No worries.. It’s very easy to take things personal here.. It happened/happens to all of us..
    It’s part of the never-ending initiation on pretty much every site and every blog on the web.. Controversy and misunderstandings everywhere humans are…

  • MW

    “Pete, I think you are being far to kind to those who may mildly disagree with you”

    Yeah, I must be in a good mood today… (grin)

  • pete – why sour grapes?
    anyone can get on a plane and go photograph something awful.. repetative or not.

  • No worries.. It’s very easy to take things personal here.. It happened/happens to all of us..
    It’s part of the never-ending initiation on pretty much every site and every blog on the web.. Controversy and misunderstandings everywhere humans are…
    Talking about wars? Huh? Laughing…
    We practice it with any given chance… Is it human nature???
    Is it part of our soul? Let me go back to my Nietzsche’s books to see what he says about it..
    Laughing … Laughing…!!!

  • Misery is “easy”… Set camera on autofocus and close your eyes…

  • Zoriah sweating at Lightstalkers (after removing his first post there regarding Haiti workshop)

    http://www.lightstalkers.org/posts/zoriahs-haiti-workshop-ideas-and-direction

  • ¨rather that they might be educated enough to discern the pictures have nothing new to tell them. So they actively pass them over.¨
    herve.
    :ø)

    would be great to hear from the photographer..
    tilde.. calling tilde..

  • “Since I never intended to get rich from this workshop, I realize I need a way of making that clear. I do believe I should be paid for my time, and that teaching is just as important as shooting for publications. However, I understand that the idea that if I got four students to sign up I would gross $8000 is unsettling.”

    From Zoriah link above… Who said PJ’s are only to “enlighten” the world??
    It’s also a good, great, profitable business … (grin)

  • Yea, for those unaccustomed, I meant that as light-hearted joking, just my way of saying that the sour grapes charge may have been a tad bit unfair. I don’t think that anyone that’s commented is opposed to conflict journalism or thinks it shouldn’t be done. All I’m seeing is that some aren’t personally interested in seeing any more of it and/or don’t think it likely to be effective, feelings about which reasonable people can disagree.

  • See Bigg?
    Told ya.. Mike is a cool guy..! Trust me I’ve been around this blog for a while..!
    Big hug

  • David Bowen

    “pete – why sour grapes?
    anyone can get on a plane and go photograph something awful.. repetative or not.”

    I don’t know why someone may be sour…. but no anyone cannot just get on a plane. I am sure there are many reasons that a photographer may not be able to just pick up and leave. Lets see.. wife, kids, other responsibilities, no funding etc. All of these are valid. I am sure there are more.

    And after talking with photographers that have been in war zones, no, not everyone can do it.

  • “Funeral of a 20 year old man, killed by shelling from an Israeli warplane. He was in the border area with two friends, launching a mortar shell towards Israel. All three were killed.”

    All three were killed? My my, this seems a bit of an overreaction to some harmless fun. Some people are so touchy.

  • Akakyevits once again u r taking sides.. Your PJ career is now officially over..
    (on a serious note: your joke wasn’t funny at all)
    I know u don’t take the rest of the world seriously but trust me there’s more out there than our town and our retirement funds…

  • And Akaky probably the dead deserved it! Maybe they were “gay” maybe “non white”.. maybe immigrants..
    “don’t ask don’t tell” policy is not valid in middle east..
    Maybe they got punished by God AlMighty.. Who knows?

  • Viva the Evangellicans Christians …
    Viva the Right Wing
    Viva to the Republicans.. Elections soon..
    Immigrant myself Akaky too bad I’m allowed to vote..

  • Panos, in this particular case, the three dead men did deserve what happened to them. When you lob mortar shells into Israel, you shouldn’t be surprised that the Israelis lob something heavier back at you. The law of cause and effect works in politics just as it does in physics, or as Clausewitz put it, “In war the will is directed at an animate object that reacts.” What did these three guys expect? That the Israelis were just going to sit there and take it?

  • i think i can dig this then.

    good stuff

  • Akaky, I’ll let someone else respond man.. It’s ok.. I give up..

  • The good old tricky question of “who was there first? The egg or the chicken?”

  • The photos by Adams and Ut helped change the direction of the Vietnam war. Many believe that these photos and a handful of others changed history…… that was a long time ago the Vietnam war finished in 1975 but was done and dusted well before that a completely different media playing field before the wwwdot world, before cheap wires, before camera phones etc. and photographs were fewer and further between. The world has changed a heck of a lot since 1975, most people have moved on and a huge swag were not even born then, attitudes towards photography have changed…….. You Tube ,flickr,facebook and millions of blogs……….. carpet bombs of images no longer carpet bombing Vietnam/Cambodia.

  • .” What did these three guys expect? That the Israelis were just going to sit there and take it?
    ——————
    Or vice versa Akaky.. From the way you write it seems that u know who started it all.. Who was there first.. Who is attacking and who is defending? Do you claim to know..
    Coz honestly I don’t .. And of the reason I would ever cover this war is for my personal anxiety to know.. For my soul.. Coz I would want to know.. Not to stop the war and pretend I’m enlightening people.. That’s bullshit.. No way any amazing photog in the world could never convince the opposite site to what’s right.. People will always believe what they’ve been told.. And that goes for both sides.. They are both the “enemy attacker” and they are both the “honest defender”.. Anytime, all the time.. Same coin different side.. And if I storm into your house to rob you wouldn’t you defend yourself? Or would you say that nevermind , this burglar has a bigger gun so let me bend over and get raped?
    And remember that goes for both sides..
    For the Israeli the Palestinian is the burglar and for the Palestinian it is the Israeli that is the burglar …

  • P marovitch
    The photos by Adams and Ut helped change the direction of the Vietnam war
    —————————————-

    That was when photography and the visual did indeed make a difference, sometimes. 40+ years ago, Pete. There are probaly been 4 or 5 times, maybe 10 times, more photography disseminated in the last 30 years than in the entire history of mass media before. Why deny it does have an effect, or that it should not, for the sake of personal concernedness?
    I find hard to blame either the photographer or the viewer, personally (though I would the photographer if he/she is merely globe-trotting to make a career out of adrenaline-pumped conflict photography).

    We need to see how information, visual and else, is circulating and coming across nowadays, not 45 years ago. These are very global phenomenons, and even if some are sour grapes frustrated P-ers, I doubt that the solution/explanation has to do with how these very few people, react.

    Photography can make a difference, but just like anything else, not more, not less, and less obviously than in days long gone. And i believe the person behind the camera counts as much as the photos. Just careering won’t help you make a difference. IMO.

  • So Akaky what’s the point of ridiculing someones fight?
    Make no sense right.. Let me take hypothetically the Israeli side (and why not? They could be 100% right after all… So what if hypothetically the whole Africa will turn against that small nation, right? Then according to you Akaky the Israeli army or any army shouldn’t resist to the bigger gun , right? Therefore they deserve to die?
    If people thought like u Akaky then would all be under Hitlers command or even worst.. We would still be under the roman empire…no Akaky no matter how small u feel u are.. If u feel u need to defend yourself you should go for it.. Regardless if u die.. And if u die that doesn’t mean you “deserved it”..

    On a more positive note , there alternatives to guns and bombs..
    Think Gandhi.. That great Indian leader that he never opposed “defense” but he could win anyone anytime without any guns, bombs, rockets, suicide missions or F-16s..
    Gandhi was brilliant.. And he proved it.. But we still rely on weapons for justice

  • Sorry, Imants, I did not see you had pretty much answered along my own line of thought.

  • These photo essays are becoming like talk show news………..an opinion about the news not the news.

  • Gandhi needs to be taken off his piedestal. I used to think he was the greatest thing that happened last century, but if you really study how Indian independance was won, for the sake of his own principles, for a non-violent guys, his struggle caused a lot of violence. It can also be argued that his self-righteousness may have delayed that independance. He was a great man, but like all great men, his flaws could really cause a lot of hurt to his own people.

    this is the guy who also thought the best resistance the jews and others deported under the nazis could offer, is to accept their fate. I am not sure he thought they should sing and dance in unisson, 6 million of them, to the gaz chambers and burial grounds.

  • Herve , first you shoot my boy Nietzsche pointblank , now throwing knives to Gandhi..
    But I like your attitude :
    “death to all idols”..
    That’s actually Nietzsche style:)
    Thank you:))))

  • Panos dip yourself in gold paint and you will have a new idol

  • They say Jesus didn’t defend himself either.. But I wasn’t there to confirm ;)

  • Imants I can’t .. Gold dipping would ruin my massive chip that is implanted on my shoulder by Kodak..
    U kiddin?

  • Damn Imants I love the dinosaur archive..
    All the big ones in one page.. ;)
    Nice T-shirt material

  • Or add a million “zeros” 00000000 behind me, make the zeros follow me and yes , Idol I am:)

  • Nietzsche, I can’t speak too much actually I know vaguely his philosophy, just the sentence I reacted to, last week.

    Actually, lately I have been interested a lot by Michel Onfray’s take on the history of philosophy (which he taught as a “counter-history of philosophy” course in his now famed Free University of Caen courses (it was free and anyone could come), and for whom Nietzsche is a favorite thinker. Too bad, it’s all in french, can’t share much more with you, but he goes after the big names, with the knowlegde to back his raisonning. His last book takes apart Freud and psycho-analysis. Big fuss it is in France, that was one idol deemed untouchable.

  • Kids know that a good looking dinosaur beats any good looking war

  • Ok, Gandhi and photography. Cartier-Bresson. and Times have changed.

    It’s funny that the master of the decisive moment was “in town” the day Gandhi got shot and died, shot him before and after (nehru’s announcement, funeral), but was not near when the murder happened. No one finds this a problem, never heard anyone think: “yeah, sure…Some master of the decisive moment we have here!”.

    Yet, for anyone of you PJ, I bet you’d hear a mouthfull, maybe get fired, if you were to be working on the subject of a VIP and history-maker, there with him/her that day, yet missing the exact moment when history is being changed in front of one’s eyes.

    Or maybe not, maybe an out of focus, tilted, cooky iphone shot decisively taken at the most undecisive moment of that fateful day, will get you praises: “wow, you did it, Panos. never mind the assassination, that’s the shot I wanted and was afraid to ask for”… :-)))

  • I keep coming back here to see what is going on and check out the photography that David is showcasing and I keep being reminded of why Patricia and others have left. It is truly a more productive use of energy to just make images and let the rest talk whatever nonsense helps them sleep at night.

  • talk about sour grapes!

  • Damn I still haven’t washed that “I’M LEAVING BURN” t-shirt..
    Pete thanks for reminding me.. and yes indeed Patricia left, kept her word and did it.. Are u gonna do it? Or just promises, promises???

  • I just hit the wrong button and everything I wrote went down the memory hole and I am too tired now to go back and try to do it again. Manana, companeros, manana.

  • Pete, go here:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/akaky/sets/72157625156561626/show/

    Lots of photography and I spraypainted the colors on the pictures myself! Panos doesnt approve, but I think the babe in the showgirl costume looks better with the paint, but that’s just my opinion.

  • Akakyevich .. Stick with colors Vs b&w..
    Seriously I think I approve

  • Ok, Mike, Akaky and that filthy troll from LA.. Please stop teasing Pete..
    He just having a bad day.. Ok, enough.. Show some mercy..

  • LA troll: “I’m NOT leaving burn
    LA troll IRL: ok, I said shut up, will you?

  • Ok Chip you too.. Mercy.. U don’t want to have any problems in your afterlife will u?

  • Back to the essay……… yes I do realise that the intent is but to me it is too opinionated in structure, though for many that may be the positive aspect. To me the moving picture mob seem to have a better content handle on things when it come to the wwwdot world than the still mob.

  • should be but wasn’t………….yes I do realise that the intent is sincere

  • whether photographs from vietnam or failing and corrupt politics changed the course of that war is a point for discussion.. from the two photographs highlighted in the thread – the napalm girl became a woman, propagandized by the govn in her home country and hounded by the media in her new country to the point she wished the photo had not been taken.. and i believe the guy murdering the VC suspect lives happily in the US.. neither photograph had entirely positive effects..
    as with the photographs themselves, the opinion that they bought about change is of it´s time – tied to the 70´s… (a nod to imants and herve here)..
    a flickr set, (as with gaza 2009), or youtube video set up by wikileaks is much more likely to carry a weight of power today.

    vietnam is an interesting media subject.. an age of free press and war snappers becoming the rock stars of photography, (if that was their want).
    to the point pete – anyone can get on a plane and go photography something awful… you say reasons anyone can´t include ¨wife, kids, other responsibilities, no funding etc.¨, yet these are self made constructs or obsticles – in other words it comes down to ¨what does one REALLY want?¨.. the same reasons you state could prevent anyone from working in music worldwide.. or just photographing beaches for tourist mags..

    within the limits of experience, and discounting delusional desires, anyone can do anything they want given a passionate and utterly focused lifestyle. i´ve always done what i really want.. a plane to israel and occupied territories is a couple of clicks away, although i wouldn´t be interested in placing myself in front of corpses nor heaving funeral processions..

    to return to the essay here – what does the photographer really want?
    my original point is that the work comers across as a homage to PJ work and a true effort on behalf of the photographer to act on an injustice they feel strongly about.. while also stretching their practice and career in a new direction – pushing themselves out of their comfort zone.
    which motivation and intention is stronger?

    if it were to spread the word and gain maximum exposure for the subjects perhaps the work would have ended up on the news wire or syndicated, as many of the photos are of this style.. yet it´s not new(s).

    blended into a photo story through post processing and presented to burn, a magazine curated by that there harvey and attached to magnum, speaks more of an intention of personal and professional evolution – the text and bio betray the same to me.. that´s what the site is here for, so no problem with that. the site is also for growth and development and discussion of photography.. pete – if that´s driving you away then that´s a shame.

    the photographer was deeply effected by the news a couple of years ago – the initial intention was sincere.. the work is strong and betrays real talent.

    however, i think the idolization of people who choose to photograph trouble, as you seem to subscribe to, has become a self gratifying circle in an age when photography is devouring itself.. your own opinion as an editor of photography, incidentally, encourages photographers in this direction. if we choose not to see suffering, and argue why not, we have ¨ sour grapes¨.
    editors like a formula – steady and straight.. derivative in many cases, actually.
    well, sour grapes into sweet wine pete

    people can be a nachtwey or soth or harvey or sobel.. conflict photography does not have a monopoly on derivative work.. whatever the subject, it is fair to ¨crit¨
    i would like to see more of a personal perspective from this photographer and i think they have the talent to portray something fresh and idiosyncratic from future trips which relies less on the standards of a genre and more on the style of their previous work. i think pats on the back for covering old ground is prohibitive to a photographers development.
    bite me.

    good photos of bad times which may have little or no impact on the issues covered are seen to reward the photographer much more than they help the victims, and back to adams and ut.. perhaps it has always been that way.
    this site is about learning – there is real talent for photography in this work yet it is hard to see the photographer themselves. it might be crass to use such a subject to talk about ¨style¨, but is it any more crass than the many photographers who use this kind of subject to push their career and get noticed by editors who give this subject matter ¨all the attention¨.. as you admit pete?

  • David Bowen, your reasoned comment makes very much sense to me, thank you.

  • First of all, nowhere in my last post did I say I was leaving. Besides, it is much more fun to post something that I know will piss certain people off, listen to their rants, and watch the hits on my website go up. I find it interesting how that happens. Web analytics is a wonderful thing.

    Second – “failing and corrupt politics changed the course of that war”

    Of course. And those politics, along with public opinion, where partially influenced by those two photos and others. Not just my opinion.

    “to the point pete – anyone can get on a plane and go photography something awful… you say reasons anyone can´t include ¨wife, kids, other responsibilities, no funding etc.¨, yet these are self made constructs or obsticles – in other words it comes down to ¨what does one REALLY want?¨.. the same reasons you state could prevent anyone from working in music worldwide.. or just photographing beaches for tourist mags..”

    That is bullshit. It is not the simplicity of “what does one really want.” There is a difference in jumping on a plane to cover a band for a weekend and back home to the wife and kids, as opposed to flying to Afghanistan, imbedding in a combat zone, putting your life in jeopardy, stressing your family, and possibly coming back physically, emotionally and mentally changed.

    Early in my career I covered the professional golf tours for 15 years. Both as a single person and married. Traveled about 20 weeks a year. It is not the same thing.

    “to return to the essay here – what does the photographer really want?
    my original point is that the work comes across as a homage to PJ work and a true effort on behalf of the photographer to act on an injustice they feel strongly about.. while also stretching their practice and career in a new direction – pushing themselves out of their comfort zone.
    which motivation and intention is stronger?”

    I will never understand why people need to get into the mind of the photographer and guess what they are intending to say or what their motivations are. It is one thing to engage in a conversation with the photographer to glean this information, but to sit and banter about it and hypothesize is nothing other than opinionated masturbation.

    All of this, “what is their intent”, “what does it mean” is sometimes just crap. Sometimes a photo is just a photo. I was recently at a reading by a relatively famous author. His recent novel had just been published and someone asked a question along the lines of “did you consciously write this novel as an example of post 9-11 discourse in America?” The author just started laughing. He said, he has heard that question at least 50 times on the book tour.

    Then he paused and very deliberately said, “people, it is just a book.”

    “if it were to spread the word and gain maximum exposure for the subjects perhaps the work would have ended up on the news wire or syndicated, as many of the photos are of this style.. yet it´s not new(s).”

    Why is this not news? These images could easily be published in a newspaper or magazine news story. Maybe not as an essay, but certainly as singles. It is just possible that the photographer has not networked sufficiently to get the images published in the news media. It is not as easy as some people think.

  • All of this discussion is only interesting to a bunch of photographers, anyway. These kinds of images only register for milliseconds in the steady stream of images the average person is flooded with every day, and whatever impact they “should” have is blunted by the sea of images in which they float. During the Vietnam War, I had access to three TV channels that featured 30 minutes of news twice a day. And the daily newspaper. Images from the war then stood out much more starkly in that limited visual environment than the 10’s of thousands of images of war and misery flooding the media today.

  • ¨That is bullshit. It is not the simplicity of “what does one really want.”

    no – it isn´t..
    and yes – it is.

    obviously the chosen subject differs and the long term effects of conscious decisions differs..
    my life is different from yours in part because i think golf is shit..
    i could not, would not, do as you do and visa versa..

    so what?

    it still comes down to what people really want.. or as tilde puts it above, ¨strong(ly) desire¨.

    ¨I will never understand why people need to get into the mind of the photographer and guess what they are intending to say or what their motivations are. It is one thing to engage in a conversation with the photographer to glean this information, but to sit and banter about it and hypothesize is nothing other than opinionated masturbation.¨

    well pete – did you come?
    the site is what it is – for the viewing and discussion of photography.
    hope was that the photographer would chip in once the discussion got going.. however.. whatever.. they have so far chosen not to.

    ¨Why is this not news? These images could easily be published in a newspaper or magazine news story. ¨

    i already said that.. yet they are here instead.. context.
    anyway.. have a good day.

  • ¨All of this discussion is only interesting to a bunch of photographers, anyway. ¨
    jim
    :ø)

  • pete – when i say ¨what does one REALLY want¨, i mean to the point where the constraints you talk about are never considered in the first place..
    absolute focus and sacrifice for what people REALLY want leaves very little room for the luxury of a deviating mind.. towards family or whatever.

    do half the people who say they want to be photographers, REALLY want to be photographers and understand what that entails.. even know what they actually want to shoot?

  • “it is much more fun to post something that I know will piss certain people off, listen to their rants, and watch the hits on my website go up…

    That’s sad, Pete. An interesting, substantive discussion was taking place here before you came in making personal attacks just, as you say, trying to piss certain people off. And thanks to David Bowen, it continues despite your disruptive efforts. What’s up? You’re usually not like this.

  • MW

    I was joking. I do not post to purposefully agitate people. I just know how people react here.

    DB

    “the site is what it is – for the viewing and discussion of photography.
    hope was that the photographer would chip in once the discussion got going.. however.. whatever.. they have so far chosen not to.”

    I have no problem with that. View the photography, discuss the images. But maybe stay out of guessing the motivation of the photographer. If they want to explain it, they will. There is way too much hypothesizing. And there is certainly way too much shit about whether or not the images will have any impact on the issue being photographed. Take Jim for instance (and there are others), why do you care if it has any impact? The only person who should care is the photographer. It is their time, sweat and vision. This constant bickering about who it is interesting to, or will it change things is a bunch of wasted energy which is for the most part negative.

    And it may have a negative effect on the photographers themselves. If their so-called peers constantly bang the “it will not make a difference” drum, what is that telling them? Should they sell the camera and buy a cab?

    And as far as context goes…. If I were shooing this type of subject, I would be doing anything and everything to get it published… ANYWHERE. There are a lot of people here who go on and on about the media, who have never worked in the media. There are very few publications that would just publish these types of images without a story to go with it. That means getting a writer to write a specific story to the images. Unfortunately that is not how it generally works (sometimes maybe).

    Photographers who are doing this work are doing it to enlighten the world about the issue at hand. If publishing it here first will get the attention of an editor at a major news organization, then do it.

    And as for… “These kinds of images only register for milliseconds in the steady stream of images the average person is flooded with every day, and whatever impact they “should” have is blunted by the sea of images in which they float.”

    That is such a completely defeatist and useless train of thought that it is not worth the time to discuss.

  • But maybe stay out of guessing the motivation of the photographer. If they want to explain it, they will. There is way too much hypothesizing.

    I certainly agree with that. Best to keep it professional.

    Disagree though about whether or not people should discuss larger, professional type issues such as potential impact of photographs in rapidly changing news/content dissemination environment. Seems particularly relevant to me. And if there are delicate souls out there who might be dissuaded from a life of conflict photography by this type of discussion, well, they probably weren’t cut out for it anyway. In any case, the responsibility for the photographer’s actions is on the photographer, not the writer/commenter.

    Glad to hear you were joking. The “saying it with a straight face” method is often problematic online. I know what it’s like to be misunderstood in that regard.

  • MW

    My point about potential impact of photographs is that I see no benefit to arguing about it. How is discussing it going to change whether or not these conflict photos are having an effect? They either do or they do not. And if they do not, there seems to me to be only two options, quit or make more until they do.

  • Perhaps most likely, the only benefit from discussing the possible effect, or not, of conflict photos comes from the personal enjoyment people with similar interests may get in discussing them. But theoretically, it could be a good thing for those who care about issues to analyze and identify how and why important information is not making it through the media fog in order to come up with better strategies for achieving those ends. My point, however, is that it’s futile and probably counterproductive to tell people what they should or should not discuss, particularly if it’s on-topic and regardless of whether it may be negative or without benefit. Not saying you shouldn’t make the argument, just don’t agree with it.I’m more concerned with truth than effectiveness. How to find truth without dialectic?

  • too much shit about whether or not the images will have any impact on the issue being photographed. ¨¨

    take your points pete.. the one above is one i feel conflict about, yet only concerning some work..

    why care about whether they have impact? because that can be the only justification for displaying someones dead child to a bunch of photo enthusiasts and photographers..

    in my heart i really want to believe that photography occassionally has a powerful impact, yet head tells me that it rarely does.. i used to believe photos alone had impact.. now though my perception is that the biggest impact comes through the photographers own actions in tweeking the world, or in taking a fresh and interesting perspective to a familier problem, rather than simple exhibitions of the work infront of photo orientated audiences.. get the work infront of the right people.. perhaps burn will lend itself to that purpose and if so – great.

    i sincerely wish for an expansion of the work beyond the obvious.. an exhibition.. a book.. and some positive spin offs for the subjects.. the more unique the photographers take on the subject, the bigger the potential coverage, so good luck.

    as an aside i just checked my analytics and burn comes in 5th for referals.. a lowly percentage at that,

    still hope the photographer chips in.

  • I didn’t comment yet, I didn’t even read everything, I don’t like to discuss that much but I do want to share my opinion about some issues.

    It might be clear that I choose a side in this conflict but is that wrong? It feels very wrong to remain neutral. I will not turn my head away when I experience huge violations of international law. It feels wrong to go back to my country knowing people are subjected to this ‘medieval’ siege as UNRWA head John Ging called it here, creating the largest of open air prisons. 
    The big oppressor decides how far Gazans can go on what remains of Palestinian land. Israel controls the inside and lets people just survive, little more. Fighters or civilians, they don’t seem to make a distinction when they blow up a 91 year old man and his grandson taking care of their animals on the ruins of their house, which was totally destroyed, twice. (I didn’t find anything about this in the Belgian media, although I did read a lot about the 4 settlers shot at near Hebron)

    My pics might not have an impact on every one, at least they have on some people. 
    In the West, you can choose just to go on with your own life. From my point of view I experience more if I don’t. Being here, meeting the Gazans and sharing their difficulties is not a chore and brings many returns, in particular the huge warmth from so many people that continues despite the harshness of what is happening around them. 

    I want to thank some people here for their comments on my way of telling this story. I don’t have years of experience and it’s interesting to hear what my pics tell you–or not.
    As well some people took a look at my previous work on my website, interesting as some try to discover how I talk in images and how maybe I can make this work more personal, attractive for those who don’t want to look, by using my own pure language.
    These are the comments I like and contain a message.

    At last, I definitely don’t agree with ‘all of us are just a plane ticket away from conflict’. I gave up many things to come here, cause I really wanted, but it’s never easy and my living standard is low cause I can’t afford more. The media is not interested or can’t be interested, a certain lobby seems to have a huge influence. I think my pics are more interested than pics of someone who just flies from conflict to conflict to make the news, I live here, I meet the daily life, as I read your comments, people would like me to show more about that, but I think I have a conflict with myself, to go for pics that give me financial possibilities or to go for what I really feel. That’s the struggle..

  • Pete you are still here despite your sidney style outburst, see Panos he’s a rock that stays still and cannot be moved even by progress. Looks like it is back to chipping golf balls at the immovable object

  • again… i never said i was leaving. What I said was I understand why others have.

  • “to go for pics that give me financial possibilities or to go for what I really feel. That’s the struggle..”

    Bravo Tilde! Keep up the quest. You are finding your voice. All of this dialog just proves that “Gaza” is worthy of discussion. Thank you Tilde and thank you David AH.

  • Pete Marovich
    October 14, 2010 at 8:14 am
    First of all, nowhere in my last post did I say I was leaving. Besides, it is much more fun to post something that I know will piss certain people off, listen to their rants, and watch the hits on my website go up. I find it interesting how that happens. Web analytics is a wonderful thing.
    ——–

    You admit that I’m responsible for people checking your website?
    That’s why u hang around Burn?
    Thank you for the balls to admit it..
    It was about time.. I mean everyone knew but hear it from you???
    Priceless

  • I suggest u get couple good photos on your website and that’ll be the reason folks checking u out..
    Not because of me..
    Thanks for the credit but I see no check from your google advertisement ..
    And that’s stealing?

  • And I don’t have a website?
    Why? I’m a BURN photographer.. What more credentials do you need???
    Order Burn.01 book and you’ll see who I am..
    My name is Till….
    And if u don’t know who Till was ask Lassal..or wiki it
    Educate yourself.. Not a bad thing!

    and don’t change the subject..
    I’m still waiting for that check from all that google analytics you bragging for…

  • And I’m not gonna say more out of respect to my buddy Michael K..
    Coz I know for some not explainable reason he is your friend!
    Where’s the money u owe me mr. Pete?
    Where? Since you are so good In counting money????

  • Panos you have way too much time on your hands.

  • “to go for pics that give me financial possibilities or to go for what I really feel. That’s the struggle..”

    I trust those people in your photographs have appropriate respect for such a heroic struggle as yours.

  • “to go for pics that give me financial possibilities or to go for what I really feel. That’s the struggle..”

    I’m sorry, but that comes off as simply monstrous. I’ve not been in the anti-conflict photography camp around here, but that devastatingly sums up their argument. Suffering people around the world, just props in some rich kid’s struggle against the inevitability of great wealth.

  • That sorta makes Pete a troll according to our mate Sid’s logic

  • Pete true.. I do have time , I had a lot time from Burn day 1..
    Actually from Roadtrips day 3…
    There was time that I was driving my truck around 15 freeway , up and Down from highway 14 all the way to Norco..and from Jacinto to highway 74 upon the mountain typing, posting to Burn via iPhone..
    Yes true, I always have too much time in my hands when it comea to Burn…
    Why? Coz I post pictures up here since day 1…
    And not expecting to be paid… And that’s why I like this place.. Coz it let’s me post links, photos, words, anything, so I get clean, vent, breath, feel free”… Burn is therapy that’s why I love it..
    It’s not just because I might get more hits on my website and make money …
    Websites are good tool to advertise .. I believe it..
    Chris Anderson just had one first time in his life.. But nothing prevented him from entering magnum ..
    That’s why I like Burn..
    And I’m making time for Burn.. It’s family

  • Chris had a website recently.. I meant

  • hi Tilde… more images like 8 and 11 would work for me in articulating the dire consequences of this situation Palestine finds herself in. Kitchens. Food. Water. Struggles. Daily struggles we all can relate to as we all need to eat drink and be satisfied.
    Take care and keep on with how you feel.

    By the way, when I click in to your web site only find an empty page? I’d like to see more.

    thanks for showing your work to us.

  • Tilde,
    congrats. not only for being published, but even more to have your essay enable this discussion. it helped that the people here reflect on so many things. you are on the right track. keep it up.

  • @peter
    my site is a bit slow, should work but takes some time to load..
    thanks

  • Just to clarify, I don’t in any way mean to suggest that Tilde is monstrous. I trust her motivations are admirable. It’s just that saying “that’s the struggle” referring to how much money she can make in the context of the Palestinian struggle comes off as, well, monstrous.

    I hate to dwell on it because I really do trust she’s a good person making personal sacrifices trying to do some good in the world, but some of the things she’s written touch upon long running debates here that are both timely and important. And these same issues have come up in several recent essays, most notably the one on Kashmir.

    For example, when she writes “It might be clear that I choose a side in this conflict but is that wrong?” I’d have to say yes, at least from a journalistic perspective. The job is to present reality as it is, not to work as an advocate for a particular point of view. Not a journalist, you say? Then what? An artist? If so, these photographs don’t work as art. They look too much like photojournalism. No, the reality is, if a work clearly takes a side, if it arranges reality in such a way as to aid a political movement, then it is propaganda. Regardless of whether or not the cause is justified. And I’d go farther and posit that obvious propaganda actually damages a just cause. It becomes just another excuse for people to ignore what’s really going on.

    On a marginally related note, David Bowen is right that pretty much anyone, at least anyone from a roughly middle class background in a wealthy country, can go work in conflict zones, or travel to just about any part of the world and live there for awhile if that’s what they really want to do. I used to do it all the time and knew plenty of other people living the same lifestyle. It’s just a question of priorities.

  • tilde – is there a finantialy viable form of documentary photography which does not involve struggle and sacrifice? repcest for your descision to follow your heart.
    the only way is to photograph what one feels and i’m not sure there is a way of making money doing that.

    as a final word – when i was 18 i bought the plane ticket.
    a shoe box full of sorrow did neither me nor them any good, although that was in the stone age before interweb.

    good luck and thanks for chipping in.
    :ø)

  • as a second final word..

    ¨attractive for those who don’t want to look¨

    thats not what the issue is.. it’s not a case of making war even more palitable.. it’s a case of bringing the horror home in a less blunt and much exposed way.
    the mundane in gaza is just as horrific as a dead child, and much less seen.. potential to cause impact is the thing and i wonder if in this age subtler means work more wonders, expecially given anyone living above ground knows what is happening in gaza.
    it’s not about people not wanting to look, for me at least, its about people having seen it so much it does not regester.

    michael said:
    ¨For example, when she writes “It might be clear that I choose a side in this conflict but is that wrong?” I’d have to say yes, at least from a journalistic perspective. The job is to present reality as it is, not to work as an advocate for a particular point of view. Not a journalist, you say? Then what? An artist? If so, these photographs don’t work as art. They look too much like photojournalism.

    .. and i agree..
    if you have an artists eye, which you do, then i think the possibilities are infinate.. boundless.. and what you are settleing for may not be doing you justice nor achieveing your goals given the shape of the media.. does nacthwey make more impact because of the subject matter or because he is jim-jimmeny with a 30 year history?
    tunnels, corpses and waiting for the pain may be the least you can do.
    i’m trying to form a compliment of sorts..

  • First of all, i’m much too tired and drained this week to wade into the discussion, but i did want to offer a few thoughts to Tilde…

    i think that ‘our saturation’ ‘our ennui’ ‘our desensitization’ to images of war, images of the israeli/palestinian conflict is not your or the photographers responsibility, it is our own as jaded viewers….the irony is we rarely suggest the same with books, paintings, told stories, etc and yet i hear the siren song of being jaded and numb by this kind of stories…while i understand their lament, i thing we must (especially as photographers and consumers of images) rail and fight against this….

    mw makes a very good and important point about discussion and the need to discuss effectiveness/truth….i’m not sure that telling stories ever solves anything….trust me, nothing we do ever ends suffering, it is not within the power of photogrpahy or, mostly, our intentions and resources to do that; however, we persist, we must persist….we must continue to tell stories and to share them…it is important that, stories continue to be told and that, different perspectives are shared and seen….photography both illuminates and it numbs, and there is the profound paradox and conundrum….

    what i like about this story is that the photographer is trying to get inside moments of this conflict as a means of, again, sharing….a way to get the audience, or some audience, to see or sense something about the suffering and the torment….

    as david wrote, if for even one person, one may accomplish a great deal…

    before ‘inferno’ there were all the books of Nam and Korea and wwii and before them, the founders: the american civil war and the crimean war…nothing stop, but we continue and we continue for both important reasons (to speak out against suffering) and for more crude reasons (because we think that we must use images as a service to prevent, when it will not), but i will always side with those who continue to speak out, if even imperfectly….

    david grossman’s new novel (though nearly perfect) as another example….

    we cannot desist….

    i look at tilde’s essay, strangely, in a less critical way this night when i’m exhausted, which is this: a reminder of how little we have really accomplished in terms of understanding one another, or shall ever, and yet how extraordinary our efforts to not relinquish fully the hope that maybe (if even a delusion) that we can arrest some small part of suffering by speaking out….

    and that, both of them, are why i am not jaded or cynical….

    and, again, the bravery of sharing a part of one’s life and transformation with an audience that has seen too much, and that too me is a courageous and beautifully humane effort and sharing….

    thank you tilde and congratulations

    bob

  • Well, I think, rather than saying “you’re jaded, that’s the problem”, it’s more important to find out why people are desensitized to a certain quantity or even quality of pictures from conflict zones, while at the same time, the same people can still prove to be sensitive and responding, ie. unjaded, in their own daily lives or for that of others, like with humanitarian crises.

    I even think that these people can take quite a non-jaded interest in said conflicts, while not bothering to do more than looking at the photos. Certainly, the Gaza vs Israel is one conflict where people do not wait for the pictures to comment, or have opinions.

    So, I guess I disagree with you, Bob. I think the problem (or the phenomenon of photos not being able to make their marks, nowadays that is) has to do with photography as a media, not with the people looking at them, and maybe even the ones taking them.

  • herve :)

    agree completely….my words and heads are a big sluggish…been an awful week…i meant to suggest that part of the problem is that pictures desensitize (sontag’s sometimes correct argument, more importantly berger’s difficulty with pictures) and that WE fall ‘victim’ to that…that is why i always take the responsibility for my own ‘desensitization’ because i willing swallow pictures and live in a world in which we’re inundated with quick, superficial, electronic sensory overload….that’s why i still fight the fight: reading proust….spending limited time on internet/social media/blogs…lots of time in silence, with family, alone, etc…so that i do not write or feel the way the jaded do….but you are right, i simply believe and try to suggest that that is part of OUR responsibility as consumers of images..we’re drowning ourselves as well…twitter facebook games pinballs in the skull…but we are not gadgets…and yes, the photographer has that responsibility too…but i see tilde’s effort, external to the pictures, as an attempt to transgress that sluggish, mechanicalized behavior of the drone, of the hive….but i do see lots of reactions as predictable…a more personalized story, of course would love that….but i agree, understand…hope that better clarifies what i attempted to say mon ami

    running
    b

  • I usually stay apart of the discussions here on Burn, but would like to share my feelings here:

    First, of course, Tilde has all my admiration for having taken the kind of risks she took, to go and see by herself. some pictures are very powerful.
    I have also to take off my hat for the will to go behind the “usual” horror, and to try to explain the complexity of the situation by mentioning that the three young people killed by the Israeli army where about to shoot a mortar shell (these are mostly directed against civilians). I am so used to the full blown “good and bad, black and white” stereotypes. Just to add some details: 1-the tunnels from Sinai are extensively used to smuggle arms and ammunition, and are therefore targeted by the IDF. 2- as far as I am informed, the blockade is far from total. the control requested by Israel on what goes in is to prevent arms to find their way in, and Hizbullah is trying all the time to send their “goods” to Sinai, and from there to Gaza. Food, energy, and other supplies do enter the Gaza strip. 3- The the four “settlers” that were “shot” were, if I recall correctly, civilians members of a family, including a pregnant woman that were first shot then approached to be simply executed. As strongly as I disagree with their ways, settlers are still civilians, and in my book, should not be targeted. Remember also, that the whole purpose of their killing was to force a break in the negotiations between Netanyahu and Abbas.
    So really, the horror can be on both sides, and pictures of horrors do not depict a situation and do not show who is right and who is wrong. systematically going with the underdog cannot replace some attempt to understand a situation and most important, thinking of a way out of this mess. Remember the “good” Afgan Mujaheedin fighting for their freedom against “evil” USSR. Who is good and who is bad really needs to be analyzed a bit more rationally than based on pictures (The book “voyages en Afganistan” by Didier Lefevre is a great example of how to make a really good photo essay without falling into the romantization of a cause that is totally opposed to my (our) values)

    About the pictures themselves, I think a more “long term” description of the daily struggle of the Palestinian that live there in terrible conditions would have been more effective. The focus on horror and death may not be subtle enough, and we may “shut off” our attention to the details, switch to the “war photography” mode. It could be just me of course.
    Also, I feel there is a problem when the story is not there.
    Does a good picture needs the mention that an F16 was flying just above?
    Or this other one of the fishermen. Do we need to be brought back to the conflict artificially by the story of this other boat being shot?
    I know this kind of criticism sounds completely discordant with the subject, but I am really waiting for that great photoessay that will go deep in the life of the Palestinian, its subtilities and difficulties.
    They deserve it.

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