Thursday, April 17, 2008

Two photojournalist websites of note

Though the trend in the news business these days is to an ever-more streamlined (i.e. mercilessly gutted) approach to news gathering, particularly from developing countries, I, for one, have always maintained the belief that countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, where I now find myself, should be covered with every bit the dedication and seriousness afforded to Europe and North America.

During my years in the field reporting, I have often been fortunate enough to come across some talented photographers whom I was able to work with or, if not to directly collaborate with, whose work I was able to appreciate for its documentary and aesthetic appeal as it chronicled situations that I myself was witnessing. Photographers such as Rodrigo Abd from the Associated Press, whom I met at the exhumation of a massacre site in Guatemala, or Noelle Théard, whom I met on the front lawn of Haiti’s National Palace on January 1, 2004, reminded me, despite the desire of some editors for journalists and photographers to wear the same hat, that expertise in the written word and the visual image rarely run together, and that there are many photographers out there whose expertise far outstrips my own meager efforts in the field. The two disciplines, writing and photography, in my view run on two different engines, so it is always good to find competent, like-minded souls to produce a photographic record while I am busy recording the history of a place.

To that end, I would like to direct readers to a pair of newish websites by photographers whose acquaintance I’ve made over the years.

I first sat down to dinner with Thos Robinson at a little café in Astoria, Queens in New York City some years ago, just before Thos made his first of what would become many trips to Haiti and the Dominican Republic, empathetically documenting the lives of Haitians living on both sides of the border. Coming after a sojourn in Palestine, Thos’ time in Haiti, during some of which we worked together, has seen him producing a very impressive catalogue of black and white images that chronicle a country’s tentative moves toward peace and stability in the early days of the second presidency of René Préval. Thos’ website can be viewed here.

Andrew McConnell and I ran into one another earlier this year in Goma, in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, and from there ranged far and wide across North Kivu province for several days, covering the conflict and the displacement of the population there. Andrew’s chronicle of his travels in Europe, Asia and Africa can be viewed on his website, while a special feature on the continuing crisis in eastern DRC that Andrew composed, containing some haungting images of the the Forces Démocratiques de Libération du Rwanda at one of their base camps, can be viewed at the World Picture News website.

1 comment:

Noelle said...