Friday, September 07, 2007

World Press Photo 07

I was wowed by the World Press Photo Exhibition 07 today. So many startling images - from fiercesome leopard seals munching on penguin carcasses to David Beckham immediately after a Real Madrid game to the preparation of a child's body for burial in war torn Sri Lanka, it was astonishing. I particularly loved the breakdancing shots in Paris by Denis Darzacq - you can see the whole series here. The photo below is by Arturo Rodr’guez, who was shooting one of the most popular Tenerife beaches as boats of exhausted, dehydrated, and dying African refugees washed up on the shore.

It reminded me of Sontag's theory of photography as an act of non-intervention. She writes: "Part of the horror of such memorable coups of contemporary photojournalism as the pictures of a Vietnamese bonze reaching for the gasoline can, of a Bengali guerrilla in the act of bayoneting a trussed-up collaborator, comes from the awareness of how plausible it has become, in situations where the photographer has the choice between a photograph and a life, to choose the photograph. The person who intervenes cannot record; the person who is recording cannot intervene." (On Photography)

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