War-Photographer

Report
“The dilemma for the
photographer... is the
question of what to do - do I
take the photograph? Or do I
do something to help?”
“I remember all the associations
connected to that photograph... it
may just be a body, but I might
know whose body that is.”
Ken Guest
(Afghan war photographer)
War Photographer (2001)
 Directed by Christian Frei
 Experience of James Nachtwey
• "The worst thing, as a photographer, is to feel
that I'm benefitting from someone else's tragedy.
This idea haunts me . . ." - James Nachtwey
In his darkroom he is finally alone
with spools of suffering set out in ordered rows.
The only light is red and softly glows,
as though this were a church and he
a priest preparing to intone a mass.
Belfast. Beirut. Phnom Penh. All flesh is grass.
6
He has a job to do. Solutions slop in trays
beneath his hands which did not tremble then
though seem to now. Rural England. Home again
to ordinary pain which simple weather can dispel,
to fields which don't explode beneath the feet
of running children in a nightmare heat.
12
Something is happening. A stranger's features
faintly start to twist before his eyes,
a half formed ghost. He remembers the cries
of this man's wife, how he sought approval
without words to do what someone must
and how the blood stained into foreign dust.
18
A hundred agonies in black-and-white
from which his editor will pick out five or six
for Sunday's supplement. The reader's eyeballs prick
with tears between the bath and pre-lunch beers.
From the aeroplane he stares impassively at where
he earns his living and they do not care.
24
In his darkroom he is finally alone
with spools of suffering set out in ordered rows.
The only light is red and softly glows,
as though this were a church and he
a priest preparing to intone a mass.
Belfast. Beirut. Phnom Penh. All flesh is grass.
He has a job to do. Solutions slop in trays
beneath his hands which did not tremble then
though seem to now. Rural England. Home again
to ordinary pain which simple weather can dispel,
to fields which don't explode beneath the feet
of running children in a nightmare heat.
End Rhyme
Allusion
Imagery
Simile
Consonance/As
sonance
Metaphor
Ambiguity
Enjambment
Third person
pronoun
Juxtaposition
Something is happening. A stranger's features
faintly start to twist before his eyes,
a half formed ghost. He remembers the cries
of this man's wife, how he sought approval
without words to do what someone must
and how the blood stained into foreign dust.
A hundred agonies in black-and-white
from which his editor will pick out five or six
for Sunday's supplement. The reader's eyeballs
prick
with tears between the bath and pre-lunch beers.
From the aeroplane he stares impassively at where
he earns his living and they do not care.
End Rhyme
Allusion
Imagery
Simile
Consonance/As
sonance
Metaphor
Ambiguity
Enjambment
Third person
pronoun
Juxtaposition
o
4 stanzas
o 6 lines each
o 24 lines total
o
9-12 Syllables
o
Rhyming couplets
o Separated by one line
o Trying to set order in chaotic emotions
o
o
Enjambment in most lines
Third person pronouns
o (He, his, they)
o Detachment from job
o Distancing of Rural England from war zones
 Speaker: a
war photographer
 Returned home after war
 Trauma after experiences
• Haunting images of war
 Contrast
of war zone and England
 Develops pictures and remembers
when and why it was taken
 Editor choses pictures good
enough for audience
 Cycle is closed
• Photographer goes to another war
 Contrast
England
of war zone and daily life in
• Carelessness and safety of common people
• Disasters of war
 Indifference of common people towards war
• Only care on a superficial level
• Strong images are considered inappropriate
• War is censored by editors of audience
 Difficulty of portraying a war without feeling
guilty
• Photographers dilemma when taking pictures
• Traumatic images from war

Biblical Allusion
• “All flesh is grass” (6)
• From Isaiah 40:6-8
• Life is fleeting and transient, a reminder
that we are all mortal
War Zones

•
•
•

•
•
•
“Belfast. Beirut. Phnom Penh.” (6)
Globalizing poem
Contrast to “Rural England” (9)
“Sunday supplement” (21)
War is mentioned along with football
games and traffic jams
Weekend headlines program
Press censoring information
 “A
stranger's features / faintly
start to twist before his eyes, /
a half formed ghost” (13-15)
• Developing pictures
• Picture of dead person
• Haunting memories
 “A
hundred agonies in blackand-white” (19)
• Good vs. evil
• Monochromatic colors
• Numb feeling while printing picture
o
Metaphor/Simile
o “Spools of suffering set
o
out in ordered rows” (2)
o “As though this were a
church and he / a priest”
(4-5)
 Imagery
Juxtaposition
o “Fields which don’t
• “Blood stained into foreign
dust” (18)
explode beneath the feet”
• “The reader’s eyeballs
(11)
prick / with tears” (21-22)
o “Pain which simple
weather can dispel” (10)
o “He earns his living and
they do not care” (24)
 How
would being a war photographer affect
your morals and ideals?
 Do
you think its correct for people to
photograph what others are grieving and
suffering for?
Video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x3VoyjUP8hg
Pictures:
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/8j4gE5jUpWE/T53edGLaBpI/AAAAAAAADQo/JGA4gk9AxDo/s640/james_natchwey_11280
3.jpg
http://www.theasc.com/blog/wpcontent/uploads/2010/04/01_ashley_gilbertson_on_job_001.jpg
http://www.pythiapress.com/letters/images/war12.jpg
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kathleen-wells/ken-guest-interview-part_b_352246.html
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2457/3913589127_d63366d3eb.jpg
http://dorrys.com/tear-jerker/
http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotosash3/c67.0.403.403/p403x403/578572_10151037077452611_1506197555_n.jpg
http://www.gardennewb.com/wp-content/themes/boldy/images/gn/cultivator.jpg
http://fineartphotographysite.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/modern-warphotography.jpg
Information:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kathleen-wells/my-exclusive-interview-wi_b_335136.html
http://www.bookrags.com/essay-2005/11/9/6599/26052
http://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=103194

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