Thursday, August 30, 2007

witnessing war

I just recently listened to an arresting, harrowing interview with Paul Watson. He is a photo-journalist that won a Pulitzer prize for a photograph he took in Mogadishu of a dead American soldier's body being desecrated by a mob. His description of the effects of war photography on his life and the guilt he has over those prize winning images is hard to listen to but harder to ignore. You can hear the interview on NPR's Fresh Air at this link
In particular, the guilt he seems to carry that he is somehow to blame for the lack of American intervention in the Rwandan genocide shows some of the power and impact photography can have, both for good or ill. Powerful stuff. I was also struck how much he sounds like James Natchwey when speaking. The same very matter of fact, emotionless delivery, striped of all empathy, or as he describes, trust. A hard life and a hard way to live. The documentary, War Photographer, about Natchwey has a generally similar horrific but unmissable quality. Paul Watson has a new book coming out about his experiences, called 'Where War Lives'


Larry D Hayden said...

Thanks for providing this link. This was a very interesting and compelling interview.