PHOTOGRAPHERS BRINGING LIGHT TO THE SHADOWS.
Based on the Webby award-winning miniseries now available on Netflix this hour-long version available for rent or purchase exclusively from redfitz delves even more deeply into some of the world’s best conflict photographers as they take us behind the lens and into their lives. Witness their personal and professional battles to engage with, understand, handle, capture and present different forms of conflict in the hopes of making the world better.
Nothing brings you closer to the most important human conflicts of our time.
What happens off the front lines, when the combat concludes or has not yet begun, but guns and poverty abound? Pete Muller is an award-winning photojournalist whose work and life serve as enduring provocations on the tensions that lie beneath cycles of conflict. He was named by TIME Magazine as the 2010 Wire Photographer of the Year. At 29 years old he was the youngest person ever to receive the honor. Through his work he aims to illustrate broader issues through individual stories. He strives to create images that ask viewers to give emotional and intellectual consideration to the lives and experiences of those depicted.
Risk is inherent to the work of a conflict photographer. Many have paid the ultimate price. Joao Silva and a group of photojournalists known as the “Bang Bang Club” gained international notoriety for their work in the townships of Johannesburg in post-apartheid South Africa. While he survived many close calls, many of his colleagues did not. He escaped without serious physical injuries in South Africa, but his life radically changed in Afghanistan in 2011 when the world in front of his camera came crashing through the lens. Now a double amputee, husband, and father of two, Joao weighs his recovery and responsibility with his desire to get back into the field.
Many conflict photographers talk about getting “close” to their subjects; but perhaps none get closer than Donna Ferrato. For more than 30 years, Donna has been making deep and lasting relationships with women, and then asking to take their pictures on the worst day of their lives. Taking an ethnographic approach to the circumstances and victims of domestic violence might not be what most people think about when they think of conflict photographers; but the work is easily as disturbing and affecting as anything else out there. By asking these women to step in front of the camera, Donna asks them to look at themselves and assess their lives.
Nicole Tung is a 28 year old photojournalist who has already seen more than her share of tragedy. Two of her closest friends and fellow photojournalists died before their time: Her field partner, James Foley, was beheaded in 2014 by ISIS, and her housemate Chris Hondros was killed, along with Tim Hetherington, in a mortar attack just a few miles from where Nicole was taking pictures. And yet, she continues to travel to the most dangerous corners of the world. Nicole’s story is one of resilience and strength, but also questions: hers is not the glamorous life, but the mission of a young woman determined to bear witness to both the trials and the triumphs that arise when entire communities are thrust into conflict.
Perhaps the most profound kinds of conflict and are those that come from without to live within. Robin Hammond’s images are visceral illustrations of injustice and dehumanization that depict victims of sexual violence, mental health disorders, and abuse. His work as a photographer has left him with a drive and desire to find ways to change these darker realities rather than simply witnessing or documenting them. Robin's images expand our definition on what qualifies as an act of war and destruction and what our responsibility is in regards to them. His work gives voice to the voiceless—to those victims whose stories are not seen or shared—and it causes us to question the cultural norms and systemic inequalities that put their basic human rights at risk.
Eros Hoagland has a long history with conflict. His father, John Hoagland, was a conflict photographer who was killed in El Salvador in 1984 while shooting for Newsweek. Eros followed in his footsteps to conflicts all over the world until a stint in Afghanistan redirected him more permanently back to Central America and eventually to Mexico. His work shows in Mexico demonstrates the extent of corruption throughout society, the overwhelming scale of the conflict, in inability to tell the good guys from the bad and the complicity of both the U.S. and all layers of Mexican society.