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photographic independence, NO, and Fifty Crows

I just received an email from the people at 50 crows, basically lamenting the ridiculous handling of the disaster in NO, the simultaneously feeble and overaggressive handling by military, police, FEMA, Blackwater (apparently our tax dollars are paying for mercenaries to patrol our own cities) and other armed authorities, and the all too inevitable attempt to squelch the press.  The email concludes:

"Documentary photographers are some of the bravest and most earnest people I have ever encountered.
We need to hear their stories, see their pictures. It is their unadulterated work that is especially important at this time.
Citizens all over the world are struggling to find ways to get clear and accurate information about the conditions that affect their lives—let us be part of telling the story with authenticity and truth. We remain steadfast in our continued support of documentary photography and independent media as a responsible action in the recovery of our civil society."

It struck me that what LS has set out to accomplish is precisely this: to bring all of us around the world together to ensure that independent coverage remains alive, remains a real possibility, and that story telling not be constrained by the State or by Corporate bodies.  In dreams begin responsibilities (Delmore Schwartz).  That is our dream; our responsibility is to support one another and facilitate the creation of authentic, true ideas.  To all of you LS members in NO, I tip my hat. 

by Jon Anderson at 2005-09-13 18:44:01 UTC (ed. Mar 12 2008 ) St Domingo , Dominican Republic | Bookmark | | Report spam→

And I too tip mine. Much respect and admiration.

by Paul Treacy | 14 Sep 2005 07:09 | New York City, United States | | Report spam→
Thanks for sharing that, Jon.

Watching the aftermath coverage of Katrina over from my parts of the world has been very interesting, being detached by the distance yet feeling too close to home – couldn’t help but  think about the recent tsunami disaster that hit these parts of Asia. What baffles me is the relative ease of access (so to speak) available to photojournalists who covered the tsunami aftermath, compared to the draconian at-gunpoint threats/restrictions and dangers many photojournalists on the ground in New Orleans are facing. Maybe I’m comparing apples to oranges, but you still can’t help think about it all.

by [former member] | 14 Sep 2005 08:09 | Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia | | Report spam→
Excellent point Bahar, and you know it was the same or worse on 9/11.  We all had to evade the police constantly, who simply would not cooperate with the press, regardless of one’s credentials.  The thing was very badly handled.

by Jon Anderson | 14 Sep 2005 16:09 | St Domingo, Dominican Republic | | Report spam→
you know, this is interesting.

notwithstanding disasters like 9/11 and NO, i have found it to be more difficult to photograph in the united states than in gaza, the west bank, ecuador, and macau.

if youve ever worked in dc you know how tightly that is controlled. and everywhere else you cant photograph in supermarkets, home depots, or anything like that. hell, ive had a harder time getting in to photograph high school football than i did photographing the IDF bulldoze a fruit market in hebron. just yesterday i had to go through a restaurants public affairs office to photograph a chef, and then they wanted to control that too.


by Kenneth Dickerman | 14 Sep 2005 17:09 (ed. Sep 14 2005) | Chicago, Il, United States | | Report spam→
No disgagreement with most points made, but  in New Orleans, military and law enforcement have mostly  been totally cool to work with – no hassles at roadblocks, just cursory checks for press credentials — absolutely nothing like the 9/11 ground zero media blackout. Blackwater is indeed in the house, but as far as I saw, guarding the Sheraton, so they’re probably being paid for by corporate dollars, not taxpayer funds. The non-evacuated locals that I met were generally very positive about the military and out-of-state law enforcement, but there were many complaints about the local New Orleans police and FEMA.

by teru kuwayama | 16 Sep 2005 21:09 | brooklyn, United States | | Report spam→

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Jon Anderson, Photographer & Writer Jon Anderson
Photographer & Writer
Ocala Florida , United States
Paul  Treacy, Photographer Paul Treacy
London , United Kingdom ( LGW )
Kenneth Dickerman, Photographer Kenneth Dickerman
Nyc , United States
teru kuwayama, I/O teru kuwayama
New York , United States


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