Tag Archives: Captivity

America’s Last Living POW: Christopher Morris Photographs a Family in Waiting

During the ten and a half years that Americans have been fighting in Afghanistan, as tens of thousands of troops have rotated in and out of the combat zone, only one soldier has ever been captured by the Taliban. His name is Bowe Bergdahl, and since June 30, 2009, he has been America’s last living Prisoner of War.

Bowe Bergdahl grew up on a dirt road that winds through a narrow river valley a few miles outside of town of Hailey, Idaho. The town of about 8,000 guards the highway to the ski resorts of Sun Valley where billionaires and movie stars spend their ski vacations. Bowe’s mother, Jani, home schooled him and his older sister, and Bowe spent years studying martial arts and fencing, becoming particularly accomplished at the epée. After a period of wandering, Bowe joined the Army at age 22, and soon after completing his training shipped out for Afghanistan. “He saw Afghanistan as a humanitarian mission,” Bowe’s father Bob says. “It was the highest ground for an American soldier.”

AP Photo/IntelCenter

This image provided by IntelCenter Wednesday Dec. 8, 2010 shows a
framegrab from a new video released by the Taliban containing footage of a
man believed to be Spc. Bowe Bergdahl, the only known American serviceman
being held in captivity in Afghanistan, a group that tracks militant
messages on the Internet said Wednesday.

After their son was captured, the Bergdahls kept their silence. Intensely private, devout Presbyterians, they chose to work behind the scenes to try and bring their son home. But a week ago, an interview Bob had given was published in a local newspaper. It said that he was frustrated with the government for not doing enough to bring Bowe home. Bob decided to break his silence. “We do not want the American people to think we are dissatisfied with the way our government has proceeded,” Bob says. “The problem is this is extremely complex. It involves several different parties—state actors and non-state actors. This is going to be difficult to reconcile, which is why we believe diplomacy for the hostages—and Bowe’s not the only one, there are other hostages—negotiations, diplomacy are the window of opportunity here.”

This week’s magazine includes a feature on the efforts to bring Bowe Bergdahl home, told from Hailey, Washington, and the rugged mountains of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. Acclaimed photographer Christopher Morris, who has documented combat and statesmanship alike, traveled to Hailey to photograph Bob and Jani Bergdahl. “They seemed very strong. They seemed to have a lot of faith in their son,” Morris says. “Where he was raised, in a mountain culture, it would be something for him to relate with his captors.”

But raising awareness about their son’s imprisonment isn’t the only goal now that the Bergdahls have broken their silence. Bob Bergdahl wishes to create a “national awareness of the war in general–a national awareness of people, knowing that life and limb is suffering in Afghanistan,” he says. “This nation is at war and it doesn’t seem like people are paying attention. That’s just not acceptable.”

Read more: Bring Our Son Home

Anne Berry

I’ve been a big fan of Anne Berry’s wonderful work with animals and have been very remiss in featuring her work on Lenscratch. You may be familiar with her work with monkeys–images that are profound in their connection with the viewer. These photographs have such soulful power conveying the sadness of captivity and seem to reflect back something about ourselves.

Anne grew up in Atlanta, spending vacations and summers at Lake Burton, on the Flint River in Sumter Co., and on Georgia and South Carolina barrier islands. Her appreciation for places unspoiled by development is central to her vision. Also essential to an appreciation for animals. Anne photographs animals “to get people to truly look at them, to hear their inner sound, and to consider their value and their place in the world.” Thank you for that, Anne!

Anne has supported non profit organizations in three ways: by making a photo book for them to use as they wish, by licensing images at no cost, and by producing awareness raising gallery exhibits. She also has a long roster of awards, exhibitions, and published work, a reflection that she is doing something right.

Anne has a new series, EOH (Equine), that explores the lives of horses, that I am featuring below.

EOH (EQUINE): Wassily Kandinsky teaches that the artist has the ability to “realize the inner sound of things.” I listen for this sound when I photograph animals. People have lost an essential connection to the land and to animals. I photograph animals to remind the viewer of this bond. Because it exists so prominently in art, myth, and history, the horse more than any other animal has the power to stir memories of this important relationship.

The horses and donkeys in this series are in rural settings or roam freely as feral animals. The connection between the horse and the land is clear, and also evident is the animal/human relationship. Even if the horse is not gazing directly at the camera it is aware of the photographer. Capturing these images requires patience and understanding. I am close to the horse physically, and I have established a connection with it.

I hope by looking at these images the viewer will hear the inner melody of the horse. These lyrics ask the viewer to consider the animal’s place in the world, to do as Franz Marc instructs, to “contemplate the soul of the animal to divine its way of sight.”



Anne Berry

I’ve been a big fan of Anne Berry’s wonderful work with animals and have been very remiss in featuring her work on Lenscratch. You may be familiar with her work with monkeys–images that are profound in their connection with the viewer. These photographs have such soulful power conveying the sadness of captivity and seem to reflect back something about ourselves.

Anne grew up in Atlanta, spending vacations and summers at Lake Burton, on the Flint River in Sumter Co., and on Georgia and South Carolina barrier islands. Her appreciation for places unspoiled by development is central to her vision. Also essential to an appreciation for animals. Anne photographs animals “to get people to truly look at them, to hear their inner sound, and to consider their value and their place in the world.” Thank you for that, Anne!

Anne has supported non profit organizations in three ways: by making a photo book for them to use as they wish, by licensing images at no cost, and by producing awareness raising gallery exhibits. She also has a long roster of awards, exhibitions, and published work, a reflection that she is doing something right.

Anne has a new series, EOH (Equine), that explores the lives of horses, that I am featuring below.

EOH (EQUINE): Wassily Kandinsky teaches that the artist has the ability to “realize the inner sound of things.” I listen for this sound when I photograph animals. People have lost an essential connection to the land and to animals. I photograph animals to remind the viewer of this bond. Because it exists so prominently in art, myth, and history, the horse more than any other animal has the power to stir memories of this important relationship.

The horses and donkeys in this series are in rural settings or roam freely as feral animals. The connection between the horse and the land is clear, and also evident is the animal/human relationship. Even if the horse is not gazing directly at the camera it is aware of the photographer. Capturing these images requires patience and understanding. I am close to the horse physically, and I have established a connection with it.

I hope by looking at these images the viewer will hear the inner melody of the horse. These lyrics ask the viewer to consider the animal’s place in the world, to do as Franz Marc instructs, to “contemplate the soul of the animal to divine its way of sight.”



Photo News – South African photographer Anton Hammerl shot in Libya by pro-Gadaffi forces

More sad news from Libya, I’m afraid. After the recent deaths of Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondoros, see earlier posts, it has been confirmed that photographer Anton Hammerl was shot in Libya on 5 April by pro-Gadaffi forces.

I first had news on the disappearance of Anton Hammerl via photographer Jodi Bieber while I was on holiday. Jodi helped raise awareness of his situation and made a plea for his release during her acceptance speech at the World Press Photo Awards in early May. Thanks for this email sent through from Africa Media Online.

The statement: “We have sad news. On Thursday we leant that Anton Hammerl, the South African photographer missing in Libya, was killed by pro-Gadaffi forces. On Thursday evening the journalists, who had been detained by the Libyan government at the time Anton disappeared, crossed the border into Tunisia following their release. They called Penny Sukhraj, Anton’s wife and told her the tragic news that Anton had been shot on 5 April 2011 by Gadaffi’s forces. Up to that point all indications from the Libyan government had been that Anton was in captivity.

“Penny had asked us to distribute the last images that Anton filed in an attempt to raise awareness of his captivity. The story was picked up extensively by the picture industry and has been covered by numerous online news sites. One of our partners in the USA, Newscom, sent us a blog post by Ryan Calder who spent a day with Anton in Libya 6 days before his disappearance. Our thoughts and prayers are with Penny and the family at this time.

To send a message of support to Penny and the family you can visit the Facebook page which was set up to raise awareness of his situation.

Filed under: Documentary photography, Media campaigns, Photo & Press Agencies, Photographers, Press photography Tagged: Anton Hammerl, Chris Hondoros, documentary photography, Jodi Bieber, Libya, South African, Tim Hetherington, World Press Photo

Wednesday 23 March 2011

So we finally got the good news on Monday that Addario, Hicks, Farrell, and Shadid had been released. You can read the account of their detention on the New York Times website…

Articles – NYT: 4 Times Journalists Held Captive in Libya Faced Days of Brutality (NYT: March 2011) an earlier article Freed Times Journalists Give Account of Captivity

Articles – CPJ: Times reporters freed in Libya; 13 still missing, detained (CPJ: March 2011)

NB. Joe Raedle of Getty and David Clark and Roberto Schmidt of AFP, mentioned in the CPJ article above have been reported free this morning and leaving Libya.

Articles – BJP: Reuters’ photographer Goran Tomasevic scores front page success (BJP: March 2011)

Alex Majoli’s Libya work in black and white now on Magnum site… There are several photos in there that were previously shown in colour on Newsweek’s site..I think I prefer the black and white ones….

Features and Essays – Alex Majoli: Libya Uprising (Magnum: March 2011)

Features and Essays – Franco Pagetti: Libya, Dreaming of a Revolution (VII: March 2011)

Features and Essays – Luis Sinco: Libya (LA Times: March 2011)

Features and Essays – Andy Rocchelli, Gabriele Micalizzi: Libya Civil War (Cesuralab: March 2011)

Ben Lowy has been posting some  iPhone Hipstas from Libya on his Tumblr…

Tumblr Ben Lowy

Christopher Morris’ updated Libya gallery on Lightbox here.

Features and Essays – Marco Salustro: Volunteer Human Shields in Tripoli (Corbis: March 2011)

Interviews – Patrick Baz Is in His Element in Libya (NYT Lens: March 2011)

Backstory on the release of the Guardian’s Ghaith Abdul Ahad from Libya last week (via @foodforyoureyes)…

Articles – Press Gazzette: Guardian editor gives credit to Turkey and Libya as he reveals inside story of Ghaith Abdul-Ahad’s release (Press Gazzette: March 2011)

Features and Essays – Baptiste Giroudon: Egypt:Life after the Revolution (Photographer’s website: March 2011)

Articles – BagNewsNotes: Alan Chin on the Middle East: Ghosts of Suez and Srebrenica (BNN: March 2011)

Articles – BagNewsNotes: Nicole Tung in Eastern Libya: Fresh To My Virgin Eyes (BNN: March 2011) (NB: post includes one extremely graphic image)

Articles – Jorg Colberg: A War of Images (Conscientious: March 2011)

Over 1,600 clicks on the ‘photo within a photo’ from Libya seen below, that I put on Twitpic the other day… So here it is again.. On the left you can see Paul Conroy’s photo, and if you look closely, you can see a pair of legs behind Tyler Hicks (first photographer from the right). I’m fairly certain, those legs belong to Yuri Kozyrev, who is taking the photo on the right pretty much at the same exact moment… Fairly random observation, I know, but still kinda interesting I thought…

To Japan..

From Newsweek…

Features and Essays – Q. Sakamaki: Aftermath (Newsweek: March 2011) Japan

Features and Essays – Peter Blakely: Japan: Relief Efforts Amid the Devastation (Newsweek: March 2011) Blakely’s website

MSNBC has a section titled Outside The Frame on their Photoblog, where AP photojournalist David Guttenfelder shares his experience covering the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan…A bit like the Backstory in Lightbox

Features and Essays – MSNBC: Outside the Frame (MSNBC: March 2011)

They also have panoramics from Japan on the Photoblog here, as well as some  ‘Japan before and after the earthquake, tsunami’ sliders

Some panoramic composites also on Lightbox, slightly differently executed though, and surprisingly by nobody other than James Nachtwey… 

Dispatch from Japan: James Nachtwey’s Impressions in Words and Pictures

Domic Nahr’s updated Japan gallery on Lightbox here.

Great BJP article on photographers working in Japan at the moment…

Articles – BJP: Japan Earthquake: Photographing the aftermath (BJP: March 2011)

Features and Essays – Donald Weber: Capital of the Third Millennium (VII Network: March 2011) Brasilia, Brazil

Looking forward to seeing this movie, although I am a bit sceptical as to whether it’ll be any good…

MoviesBang Bang Club trailer (Apple)

Articles – BJP: Movie to recount Bang Bang Club’s story (BJP: March 2011)

2011 FotoEvidence Book Award Winner…

Interviews Paula Bronstein (Fotoevidence: March 2011)

Interviews – Terry O’Neill (Telegraph: March 2011)

Awards The shortlist for the first World Press Photo multimedia contest has been announced (WPP: March 2011) From BJP

Articles / Tutorials and Tips – Mike Davis: Some Things To Consider When Entering Contests (Mike Davis blog: March 2011)

Videos – Joel Meyerowitz 1981 Film

Articles -PDN: Appropriation Artist Richard Prince Liable for Infringement, Court Rules (PDN: March 2011) Also:  A Photo Editor: Richard Prince Loses Fair Use Argument (APE: March 2011)

Articles – Phaidon: Martin Parr takes cover for Esquire’s 20th anniversary (Phaidon: March 2011)

Agencies David Chancellor joins Institute

Exhibitions – Tate Modern: Burke + Norfolk: Photographs From The War In Afghanistan : 6 May  –  10 July 2011 : Free entry!

Events – Contact VS ASA Collective Slideshow evening (NB: Facebook link), 1st April : London

Exhibitions – Laura Hynd, Michael Grieve, JH Engstrom and Tereza Zelenkova are on show at the Oblong Gallery until 23 March (BJP: March 2011)

I went to University College of Falmouth second year BA Press and Editorial Photography students’ exhibition, Progression, at Calument London…It’s a show of 34 photographs, one by each of the students on the course.

The exhibition is up for a month. Go and have a look if you happen to wonder around the Euston area in London, or have business in the aforementioned establishment. Big thanks to Dan Cainey for having invited me to the opening. Several promising works on display, so it was a pleasure.

BlogsHere by Harry Hardie

PhotographersYunghi Kim

Photographers Shamil Tanna

PhotographersTal Cohen