Most of you know that I am really fascinated by conflict photography – not the images that result from it, but the photographers and reporters who risk their lives to report a story or get a picture to share with the world.
I came across two interesting articles yesterday. The first is about a Japanese man who is currently in Syria, acting as a “tourist photographer.” He doesn’t work for any paper or news source, he is just there to photograph what is happening. At first glance this seems very selfless and noble, but after reading the article I found that the man is most likely suffering from depression. As the article’s author opines, “it seems that it isn’t recklessness or adrenaline that drives him, but a deep sadness that borders on suicidal tendencies.” I’ll let you read the article and decide for yourself: http://www.theatlanticwire.com/global/2013/01/bored-lonely-japanese-man-becomes-war-tourist-syria/60531/.
The second article illuminates the danger photographers and reporters, particularly in Syria, must face every day. James Foley, a French journalist, was kidnapped Thanksgiving day. Amazingly, this kidnapping in Syria follows his kidnapping in Libya just a year before. As of now there is no word from his captors on his condition or a possible release. The article is here: http://abcnews.go.com/International/us-journalist-captured-syria/story?id=18123058#.UOXFqmf4Jzg.
Both articles are to illustrate how dangerous some forms of photography, particularly photojournalism, are and we should always remember, when reading and watching the news, that some brave souls are going through hell to get those images and reports back to us. Undoubtedly some are there for the adrenaline rush and to be “badasses,” but hopefully many more of them are there because they believe in getting the story out and effecting change – be it in charity or policy.
*the image in this post is not my own – it is a Google image.