Pella Chronicle

Community News Network

November 8, 2013

Modern war photographers take us all to war

(Continued)

His images have appeared in Time magazine and in exhibits in museums and galleries around the world. In 2000 he published a retrospective book titled "Inferno."

"Making a distinction between art and photography always seemed artificial to me," he says. "My decision to become a photographer was deeply influenced by contemporary images of the Vietnam War and the American civil rights movement. I saw the pictures in newspapers and magazines, but their context in journalism did not diminish their visual, emotional or intellectual power. On the contrary, because the images informed a mass population of events that were occurring at the time, they gained an urgency and social value that increased the power they might have had in a purely art context. Before deciding to become a photographer, I visited the Prado museum in Madrid and happened upon Goya's 'Disasters of War.' They were etchings, made before the invention of photography, yet they depicted the barbarity of war with such immediacy, I saw a direct connection with the photographic images of my own time, and considered Goya to be the patriarch of war photographers even though he never used a camera."

Carol Guzy

"Someone once told me it's not imagining how you would feel in a given situation: It's the ability to break through your own veil of life experiences and truly see how someone else is feeling," writes Guzy, who has earned four Pulitzer Prizes as a newspaper photojournalist, most recently for The Washington Post. "We've seen throughout history how selective compassion breeds hate and conflict. In my humble opinion, if all life is not equal to the same level of kindness we wish for ourselves, it becomes the foundation for abuse. And when we turn away from oppression, our silence becomes complicity."

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