Photojournalism in Conflict

Again, while scrolling down the infinite wall that is tumblr, I saw a photograph (down the bottom of the linked page) of some hands against the back window of a car. It was a grainy photo, the hands were dirty and the car was several decades old (rust spots showing, paint missing and grime tinging roof green) and it was under the title, “Chechen Hands”, by photographer Stanley Greene.

I googled his name and found the company he was attached to, Noor Images, which contained what I can only assume is his entire body of work. Greene mainly seems to photograph conflict, wars and famines, capturing the different scenes that come with those types of environment. As his profile reads:

“For the last 25 years, Stanley Greene (New York, 1949) bore witness to births of new dawns, rising and falling empires, invasions of countries, liberations of others, mass migrations, deportations, displacements, famines, conflicts, wars and destructions. He worked on the five continents trying to document the human condition. “Sometimes I wonder if societies just lust for tragedies.”

I had a look through some of his works, and his most recent one, “Snipers Life in Aleppo“, reminded me that I has read about Aleppo for the first time only few weeks ago, in an article that I wrote a blog post about.

As coincidence would have it, or perhaps a reflection on how little this is being covered by the more general media, the description of the photographs is written by Francesca Borri, the same freelance journalist and human rights activist who wrote the article I wrote a blog post. She tells chillingly about tells of the level of death present in Aleppo.

“Iyad is 32, a broken expression nestled in strong muscles, he was a carpenter. “My workshop is at the end of the corner,” he tells you, even if at the corner there’s but a slid ceiling, the stump of a wall, and even if he now is a sniper, two hours per day, every day, he sleeps here, a mattress and a blanket next to a door’s skeleton, his brother died his father died, his best friend died, everybody died, his two-year-old daughter died, in his Nokia the photo of her body covered in blood, and now he is a sniper, that’s all, two hours per day shielded by sandbags, you look through the hole where he shoots from and the helmets of the last soldiers he hit are still there, in the street.”

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