Saturday, June 20, 2009
Before War was "fashionable"
When you are retouching a photograph, never be satisfied.
Especially if it's for those who give their lives for our country.
Labels: The Vault
Friday, June 19, 2009
Here, Jones. See, Jones. SING, GRACE JONES!
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Hear no Jonas; See no Jonas; Speak no Jonas.
Labels: Jonas Brothers
Venus in the 11th House
Labels: Venus in the 11th House
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Obama & Same-Sex Benefits
In 1885, The Statue of Liberty Arrives in NY.
Labels: The Statue of Liberty
Happy Birthday to the . . .
Labels: June 1948 vinyl lp introduced
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
My 17" MacBook Pro's
version of iTunes is GAY!
I mean, sure, I loved Madonna's VOGUE, but she had me at HORST B. HORST. But WTF? is happening to my iTunes? Is VOGUE replicating itself? Do I have a VIRUS?
I mean, I love the song and all, but FORTY-EIGHT remixes of the same damn song?
All I gotta say is that I didn't pay for 'em!
VOGUE to the music.
Labels: Madonna VOGUE
Monday, June 15, 2009
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Kevin Carter & His Suicide
HBO: How did you come to Kevin Carter, and what compelled you to want to tell his story?
That's as much as I knew going into this story. And, of course, I was drawn to this mystery. The mystery of why Kevin had taken his own life so soon after winning the Pulitzer Prize, which by any measure is the highest achievement for a journalist.
What I discovered was that Kevin's story is much larger than just that question. It's an epic parable that really questions morality in the technical age where history is photographed and recorded. Kevin's story is really emblematic of a dilemma that has a very broad scope, and has to deal with this question of whether it is better to document or to intervene in scenes of suffering.
HBO: What were your first impressions when you began to speak with family and colleagues who worked with him?
Dan Krauss: One of the more emotional moments was meeting Kevin's family and friends face to face for the first time. because In my mind, he had grown to be sort of this legendary fellow. He almost had the attributes of a fictional character. Of course, I knew from a practical level that this was not the case, but when I first entered his parents' home and saw their family photos and saw remnants of Kevin's life, I remember being struck by the realization that Kevin was a human being first, and a legend second. I can still feel it now.
HBO: Give a little context about what it was like working in South Africa at that time.
Dan Krauss: The violence which accompanied the decline of apartheid and the emergence of a democratic society in South Africa was extraordinarily brutal. People were hacked to death and burned alive in front of Kevin Carter's lens. Many photographers are able to use the camera as an emotional shield to protect themselves from what they're witnessing. But Kevin was as exposed emotionally as his film was to the images that he saw.
He, in some ways, was perhaps not adequately suited to do this kind of work because it took its toll on him in a much more serious way than it did his colleagues. That's not to say his colleagues weren't also deeply affected. They were.
And so you had this huge disconnect between these two realities that were very closely situated. Photographers were constantly moving between the safety and comfort of the suburbs and this hellish world of violence and chaos in the townships. And they were trapped between those two worlds. They were lost in a sense. They didn't really have a firm footing in either world, and I think that caused some dysfunction.
HBO: The reaction to Kevin's famous photograph-- can you talk a little bit about the impact that had on him.
Dan Krauss: Winning the Pulitzer was the strongest affirmation that his work was being noticed, and that his work was having an effect lLike many of the photographers in South Africa during this period, Kevin believed that photographs could indeed change the world, as they did in Vietnam for the United States. You could argue that those photographs changed public policy, changed the course of the war; changed the world.
And Kevin and his contemporaries hoped to achieve that same goal. They believed that photographs could help bring attention to Africa, and in turn help cure some of its ills. And this photograph was the strongest affirmation of that ideal. And so it was a huge boost to Kevin, but at the same time it was accompanied by this criticism about his behavior, how he should have acted in Sudan. And it weighed on him tremendously. The criticism that was leveled at him was devastating to him because I think in part he questioned whether the criticism was indeed valid.
HBO: The criticism being, Am I exploiting my subject or am I helping?
And then of course the other factor with that photograph is that it brought him a great deal of acclaim. And I think it's difficult for anyone to live up to that sort of expectation. When you take a Pulitzer Prize winning picture, suddenly you have been vaulted into an entirely new league of photography. And I think he had a lot of self-doubt as to whether he could live up to his reputation now that he had won a Pulitzer. And the fact that his best friend, Ken Oosterbroek, was killed while Kevin was being interviewed about his Pulitzer Prize made him tremendously guilty because he was not there when Ken died. He felt that Ken was the person most deserving of a Pulitzer. He was considered by many, including Kevin, to be the best photographer in South Africa during that period.
HBO: Kevin's daughter Megan had a very interesting take on the photo.
Dan Krauss: She said something very enlightening I thought, and wise beyond her years, because she was a sixteen year old when she spoke to me. She said that in the photograph of the vulture and the child she actually saw Kevin as the child and the world as the vulture. It was a very interesting perspective because a lot of people envisioned Kevin as the vulture, if you apply the symbolism of that picture to Kevin Carter's particular circumstance.
Many people thought that photojournalistsat large, and in this case Kevin Carter specifically, were the vultures praying on the suffering of other people with their cameras. But Megan reversed that whole archetype. She put Kevin in place of the child who was suffering and being watched by the world.
HBO: What can we take away from Kevin's story?
Dan Krauss: I think what we can take away from it is a broader understanding of the relationship between photographer and subject, subject and photographer, subject and the world, photographer and the world. This is a very complex relationship. One thing I hope audiences take away is this understanding that beyond the borders of the frame lies a much larger and perhaps more meaningful context and that as viewers, we need to think of photographs as things which provoke us to take action, to make us think about the broader context in which the photograph was taken, and to truly understand its benefit. The benefit of a photograph is also part of its value in terms of spurring people into action. I think that's what Kevin wanted. I think that's what many great photographers want. And I hope that message comes through loud and clear.