Reflections Through... Photography
Art is a Reflection of Reality
"In a decaying society, art, if it is truthful, must also reflect decay. And unless it wants to break faith with its social function, art must show the world as changeable, and help to change it." -Ernst Fischer
"I have been a witness, and these pictures are my testimony. The events I have recorded should not be forgotten and must not be repeated."
James Nachtwey is an astounding and captivating photographer, who has traveled the world to capture acts of inhumanity. Mostly war photographs, and thus known as the war photographer, James has dedicated his life to making sure that these tragedies can be experienced and felt by all. His hope is that through his photographs, humanity will be enlightened to the tragic and agonizing consequences of war. Through this enlightenment, he hopes that hearts will be moved, acts such as these be not forgotten, and people will rise up for what is truly righteous.
Palestinians fighting the Israeli army in the West Bank. (2000)
A tuberculosis ward in Zimbabwe, where most the patients suffer from AIDS. (2000)
An orphanage in Romania for "incurables." (1990)
"To be honest, the more I do this, the less I do it for photography’s sake. I love photography, but it’s more about what’s happening. I wish I were a better writer, or poet or musician, to use some other way to use my experience to move people. We’re at a crucial time in the world, so polarized, with such a lack of understanding. The pictures themselves have power, but I don’t want to do it to make nice pictures."
Ami Vitale’s focus as a photographer is to destroy the barriers of prejudice and race; to portray a world of equality. She works through her photographs to express the importance of cultural understanding. In matter of importance, Vitale places peace, love and justice at the forefront of all of her images. Her photographs convey a sense of hope and promise for all of mankind. She believes the only way to truly capture the culture of a society, is to be immersed in it. She has lived among the subjects that she photographs, and therefore truly understands the lives of those she captures.
Palestinians fighting the Israeli army.
Anti-Globalization protests against the World Bank and International Monetary Fund often turn violent in Prague.
An Angolan boy plays in a camp for displaced persons in Huambo, Angola.
"While there is perhaps a province in which the photograph can tell us nothing more than what we see with our own eyes, there is another in which it proves to us how little our eyes permit us to see."
Dorothea Lange is known in history as the means by which Americans were made aware of the destitution of the poor migrant workers, and farmers of the great depression. Lange was awarded the Guggenheim fellowship award in 1941, but she declined this great honor shortly after Pearl Harbor. As she witnessed the cruelty and prejudice placed upon Japanese Americans, she found it her duty to decline the fellowship, and photograph this injustice. Lange impacted society as her photographs of this period of Japanese relocation were so candid and powerful, the army was forced to confiscate them. From her actions, it is clear that Lange stood for truth, liberty and peace for all. She never once shied away from the opportunity to capture any injustice, and to stand up for her passionate beliefs.
Lines of Japanese people being relocated to internment camps in WWII
Tenant Farmers without farms to work on. (1938)
Migrant Mother, taken in 1936, is an iconic image of the Great Depression.