“This is also the limits of photography in that sense; it only goes so far in understanding what’s in front of you,”
December 10, 2012 5:34 AM   Subscribe

New York Times' Lens blog: Looking at the Tangled Roots of Violence in Northern Nigeria highlights the work of Benedicte Kurzen.
Ms. Kurzen said. “I’m only photographing the symptoms of phenomena, of dynamics: symptoms translated through the daily life of the people. But I don’t think I’ll ever really know or really understand what’s cooking underground.”
posted by the man of twists and turns (2 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
A Child Is Being Beaten
It seems inappropriate to try and make a philosophical point with child abuse as a metaphor. But is not a purely philosophical abstraction. We abstract these sorts of terrible events on a daily basis, in particular, through photography. A recent photographer captured a Ukranian gay rights activist being beaten by neo-Nazis. In this photo, we are stunned not only by the sight of a beating, but from the photographer’s own abstraction. We can feel the presence of the photographer, whose instinct was to stand behind the camera to document the scene, rather than help the person being beaten. To the photographer, this was simply a beating, not this particular man suffering. When the shutter fired, it was not capturing the beating, it was capturing a man being beaten.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 6:47 AM on December 10, 2012 [1 favorite]

Heartbreaking. I passed through northern Nigeria (Kano, etc) back in late 1980: a much more peaceful time. Terrible to see what's happening there now.

Thanks for the post.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:26 AM on December 11, 2012

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