All posts tagged: afghanistan

The Importance of Memory and World Press Photo’s “Contemporary Issues”

“The struggle of man against power is the act of memory against forgetting.” -Milan Kundera, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting I have my own personal reasons for choosing to photograph over other mediums, for believing that we must look sometimes even when we are more often compelled not to. The collective memory of societies around the world relies on aesthetics, whether represented through flags, leaders, advertising and propaganda or news photographs. Only the last can claim to attempt to accurately reflect the conditions of all citizens but especially the disenfranchised, even if so often the focus is on podiums and the powerful. Earlier this month, World Press Photo announced the results of its annual competition. Shortly thereafter, the mayor of the Belgian city of Charleroi sent the Amsterdam-based foundation a letter stating his objections to an essay entitled “Dark Heart of Europe” that depicted his town as some sort of desolate sex-depraved locale where fetish and fantasy were expressions of current realities. Many of the scenes in the photographs were simply staged through a …

Chicago NATO Summit Weekend May 18-22, 2012 Events Calendar

“Afghan Women Shadow Summit” Amnesty in Chicago It’s a crucial time for President Karzai, President Obama, world leaders and the media to see that people care deeply about the fate of women’s and girls’ human rights in Afghanistan. Speakers and panelists include Illinois Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky; Afifa Azim, Executive Director, Afghan Women’s Network; Gayle Lemmon, Council on Foreign Relations and Author, “Dressmaker of Khair Khana”; and Manizha Naderi, Executive Director of Women for Afghan Women. The panel will be moderated by Jerome McDonnell, host of WBEZ’s Worldview. After the Summit, please join us for an action as we fly kites to demand Afghan women’s rights! This event is free and open to the public, but advance registration is required. To register and for more information, please visit http://www.amnestyusa.org/afghanwomen. We need you! When: 11AM – 1PM on May 20th – the first day of the NATO Summit. Registration and light brunch begin at 10AM Where: Swissotel Hotel, Lucerne Ballroom, 323 East Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL 60601 Note: After the Summit, please join us at Navy Pier …

The Year in Pictures 2011: Chicago, New York, New Jersey, Czech Republic, Azerbaijan and Turkey

The Year in Pictures 2011 The annus horribilis of 2011 is coming to a close – a year that will go down as one of dramatic upheaval and revolution alongside 1789, 1848, 1917, 1989, and now, this year. In Egypt, young revolutionaries overthrew the government of Hosni Mubarak after 31 years of subservience to a one-party state bolstered by an omnipresent muhabarata, or secret service, further bolstered by an overreaching military, after Egyptians witnessed similar events in Tunisia lead to the removal of that country’s former leader Ben Ali. Consequently, the domino theory made a surprise return as events in Egypt triggered revolts elsewhere in Bahrain, Libya, Syria and Yemen. Of these, only Libya’s leader fell after rebels received aerial support from NATO war planes; Qaddafi was found hiding in a drainage canal near his hometown of Sirte (or Surt, depending on your news source and spelling) and subsequently dragged through the streets, sodomized with a knife and otherwise tormented before being shot in the head. In the Libyan conflict three photographers lost their lives, …

Interview with Dan Reimold of College Media Matters for Forthcoming Journalism Text Book

Recently, a query from Dan Reimold of College Media Matters/University of Tampa landed in my inbox, requesting an interview for a forthcoming journalism text book he is working on now that will offer advice and experience from journalists. With his permission, I am publishing the contents of our online interview, which was conducted from July 1-5, 2011: DAN REIMOLD. What are the best pieces of advice you have received or given about capturing quality photos? AMANDA RIVKIN. Most of the best macro-level advice I have received has been from photographers-turned-editors like Santiago Lyon, the Director of Photography at The Associated Press, who has spoken to me and many, many other young photographers about the difference between taking pictures and making a picture and thinking about the frames you are taking as opposed to merely clicking away. Other photographers have undoubtedly helped along the way and too many to name, but the best advice I have found is only pertinent when it is later engrained in experience. AR. The one time I talked with photographer Chris …

In Memoriam: Chris Hondros and Tim Hetherington

I am still at a loss for the enormous quantity of injuries to photojournalism in recent months, beginning for this generation with Emilio Morenatti of The Associated Press on August 12, 2009. An Associated Press account of the bomb “planted in the open desert terrain,” according to the American military, left Morenatti without his foot as he traveled in southern Afghanistan near the Pakistani border with AP Television News videographer Andi Jatmiko and a unit of the 5th Stryker Brigade. Again in southern Afghanistan, Joao Silva one of the four founding members of the famous group of South African photographers covering the end of apartheid known as “the Bang Bang club,” was hit by a mine and lost both legs, as reported October 23, 2010 by his employer The New York Times. This spring came the awful and surreal detentions of well known and intrepid New York Times conflict photographers Lynsey Addario and Tyler Hicks alongside reporters Anthony Shadid and Stephen Farrell in Libya. Then obviously and most recently came the tragic deaths a whole …

The Bi-Products of Our Labors: Charting Progression Through Progress Charts

This week I hand in my thesis on media-military relations to my adviser, the Georgetown University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Proquest, and hopefully a few people who will be generous enough to edit it before then. As is often the case when you write something longer than 700-800 words, getting people to read something closer to 10,000 words can be a bit tricky. I am not suggesting tools of deception, “psych-ops,” or anything so ordinary as blackmail. Rather, humor and a little prodding. Inspired by the magnanimous work of Bill Mauldin, Second World War cartoonist with the U.S. Army, I created a few cartoons, one of which I am sharing here. Without further ado, some scenes from the war room (gentlemen, no fighting…): In the past two years as a student in the security studies program at Georgetown, I have learned to adjust my own pedagogical background in various ways to a culture where the military dominates. One aspect of this has involved adjusting to methods I never quite understood, such as Power …

From the Archive: Being with “The Bad Guy” on a Big Day

Qaddafi is a topic of conversation in and of himself, and his family an entirely separate discussion as well. He is the center of gravity of his own regime, naturally. The U.S. has announced it is not engaging in regime change (although not quite in those words), but has struck the compound where he resides with a missile. On another war front, Der Spiegel has announced to an e-mail list of its subscribers that in its print edition to hit news stands tomorrow, it will publish three images of U.S. soldiers posing with dead Afghan civilians. The Washington Post writes, “The photos are among several hundred the Army has sought to keep under wraps as it prosecutes five members of the 5th Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, for the alleged murders of three unarmed Afghan civilians last year.” The consequences may prove more devastating than the Abu Ghraib scandal. The Guardian follows up with additional details about a dozen members of the unit, already on trial in Seattle and confronting life in prison or the …

Thesis Bibliography: The Relationship Between the Military and Media in a Time of War – Three Case Studies (Second World War, Vietnam, Post-September 11 Conflicts) of America in Multi-Year Conflicts

(NOTE: An updated bibliography and account, “How to Write A Graduate Thesis on Military-Media Relations in the USA! in 120 Days” posted April 14, 2011.) Over the next five months, I will dedicate no small part of my time to the task of studying the relationship of the U.S. military and the American media during a time of war. I will examine three case studies of multi-year involvement in foreign conflict from the Second World War and Vietnam era to the present, post-September 11 conflicts. My work will first be collected towards my thesis in the Security Studies program at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service. I hope to also see the work evolve into a magazine article. I will amend this list periodically as my bibliography expands. I also hope to collect numerous interviews with current practitioners, editors, communications managers, and military public affairs officers relevant to the study of the relationship between the military and the media as possible between then and now. Historical Rise of the Modern War Correspondent Goldstein, Robert …

Fortnight Journal: The K-Word

The K-Word Fortnight Journal December 12, 2010 Recently, Indian novelist and Booker Prize winner Arundhati Roy wrote in The New York Times op-ed page of “the subversive strength of warm, boiled eggs.” She was referencing the way her heart was won by the father of a young woman, Nilofar, in the Kashmiri village of Shopian. Nilofar was murdered earlier this year, allegedly by Indian security forces, in a disputed territory conflict with root causes extending as far back as the immediate post-Cold War period–if not as far back as the post-war Partition of India and Pakistan. Arundhati Roy is among a select number of Indian intellectual critics of India’s ongoing policy and position on Kashmir. She has been the subject of mob retaliation orchestrated by the BJP (Hindu Nationalist Party) against her home, and there are calls for charges of treason against her. This, despite the issue of Kashmir obviously being a critical question at the core of the India-Pakistan dispute, and the ostensible reason for so much Pakistani attention to militant groups that engage …