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Bryan Brink
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Interesting essay, thanks Mike. Your comments about the reaction to a photograph of a crime or atrocity in progress immediately brought to mind the 'Bang-Bang Club'. The Bang-Bang Club was a name associated with four photographers active within the townships of South Africa during the Apartheid period. The 'club' consisted of Kevin Carter, Greg Marinovich, Ken Oosterbroek, and Joao Silva (a number of other photographers such as James Nachtwey and Gary Bernard worked alongside them). Kevin Carter won a Pulitzer in 2003 for his photo of a starving Sudanese child seemingly stalked by a vulture. The photo doesn't show that the child was in fact closer to the feeding center than to the vulture. Wherever he went, Kevin was dodged with questions about what happened to the little girl in the photo, and why he didn't help her to the feeding station after he had taken the photo, and whether she had made it at all (he didn't know). All of the Bang-Bang Club faced simliar questions but Kevin Carter began to question his own humanity. The self-doubt, self-loathing, fear of failure after winning the Pulitzer and the death of his colleague and best friend, Ken Oosterbroek, led to Kevin's suicide. Greg Marinovich and Joao Silva wrote a book also by the name The Bang Bang Club. In the book they grapple with the question of how far should one go to pursue an image. I can highly recommend the book. (read an excerpt at
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Nov 23, 2009