Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Homework Response:

Sebastiao Salgado states, "I believe that there is no person in the world that must be protected from pictures. Everything that happens in the world must be shown to the other people around the world. I believe this is the function of the vector that the documentary photographer must have, to show one person's existence to another."

I completely agree with Salgado's assertions that truth must be exposed and displayed for all to see and know; be it a thing of beauty or of horror. Salgado speaks of how a true documentary photographer must immerse himself in the story, invest in the people who's lives he is trying to portray, and surround himself in the problem that he is working to present. I believe that Salgado would agree that capturing photographs that change the masses' perhaps misconceived ideas regarding global issues is of greater importance than the moral questions we like to ignore on a daily basis. Seldom do we stop to think of the injustice we take part in when we eat while the poverty stricken in our city do not. Rarely do we pause to consider the rights of the oppressed and persecuted when we stand and demand our own. Considering this general lack of concern, albeit usually due to our own ignorance, in most aspects of our daily lives, why suddenly criticize photography for exposing the truth? No, photographing reality continually proves to be the mechanism of awareness, change and reform so desperately needed around the world. While I have limited experience photographing social injustices or problems in the world (or even our own society), I believe I would choose a similar platform as Salgado. While I would be careful who I would allow to publish or circulate my photographs, I believe it is important, no, vital, to photograph the stark, sometimes eery beauty that is truth.

A picture is worth a thousand words and it sometimes takes the image's silence to awaken an apathetic mind. It is exactly as Salgado says: "when you show them, when you discuss the situation with them, they become integrated with the problem, and the problem becomes part of their life."

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