fyi: The Photographic Gallery in New York will be hosting a show by four unembedded photojournalists: Kael Alford, Ghaith Abdul-Ahad, Thorne Anderson and Rita Leistner. The show opens March 18th and will continue through April 30, 2006. The four are also part of an interesting book that looks at Iraq through the eyes of those not embedded with the U.S. forces there. The book link is below. The “Unembedded” website can be found here.
Zoriah has updated a series he did on the Northern Pakistan Earthquake, also known as the Kashmir Earthquake. I have posted them below with his earlier write-up. Other previous series by Zoriah concerning AIDS, the tsunami that hit Thiland in 2004 and life in Gaza can be viewed here, here, and here.
People often ask me to compare disasters and I find myself struggling to provide them with an answer that feels truthful. In all honesty, after five years of focusing on disasters and humanitarian crisis, I find that everything begins to look the same. Faces, no matter which country or continent they hail from, closely resemble each other when they are framed in rubble and surrounded by smoke. Buildings and trees and landscapes look about the same when they are flattened on the ground, whether the cause was a hijacked airplane, a massive wave or powerful tremor. It is often far too easy for me see a disaster zone as nothing more than a familiar scene, another day of work.
Wanted to alert everyone to this screening and talk by artist Lynne Sachs:
The following words and photographs are from Zoriah: During my work documenting the AIDS crisis in Asia, I had the opportunity to meet some truly incredible human beings, some of whom are still alive, most though have already died in the short period of time since the completion of this project. From the groups of urban prostitutes living and working in the slums of Phnom Penh Cambodia, teaching each other safety, survival and financial planning while setting up clinics on the average aid agencies paperclip budget, to the quiet suffering of mothers who have unknowingly passed on a disease to their children via their fathers indiscretion, these stories and these faces linger in my mind. While aid organizations give total infection rates of about one percent, caregivers, hospice staff and the people on the ground speak of certain regions reaching up to twenty five percent HIV infection rates. With a new heroin epidemic hitting urban slums and a dramatic increase in both hetero and homosexual sex tourism, the problem is expected to reach epic proportions over the next few years. Numbers and statistics are just that, nothing more than markings on paper or words on a news program, the human side however is truly disturbing. Patients wait to die alone, coated in flies and nursed by family members. Understaffed hospitals are in such disrepair that they have been deemed biohazard and HAZMAT threats and workers refuse to even enter the premises, much less make necessary repairs and provide care to patients. In several well known hospitals I found myself literally wading through ankle deep piles of disposed needles, catheter bags and soiled linens, as patents navigated hallways with potholes that dropped through to the floors below. The human suffering is quite unreal and the faces of teenage girls, mothers, fathers and small babies wasting away in discomfort still appear vivid in my mind. This photo story is dedicated to my new friends who sit quietly and wait to die, those who choose not to sit quietly but fight for the lives and the health of their friends, family, and complete strangers. This photo story should also serve as an attack on the organizations, governments, corporations and pharmaceutical giants who quite simply are doing too little.
Which Photo Agency Is Hardest To Deal With? (Please use the comment section to address some of the issues you see.)
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