last night: photozero photojournalism expo at raindogs

Last night Raindogs was hosting Photozero, a photojournalism conference, with presentations by the journalists. I nominally showed up to watch my friend DJ but I got quite caught up in the presentations.

Jason P. Howe, with no journalism training whatsoever and no Spanish, decided that he wanted to document the armed conflict in Columbia. So he would just hitchike into people’s camps, try to befriend the various sides, and take pictures. He said that people were quite nice to him, because he wasn’t a professional journalist, just a normal person, and they let him stay with them in their camps for long periods of time. Also, he found out his Columbian girlfriend was a professional assassin and Hollywood is now making a movie about his life. I was quite inspired by this guy and his kick-ass spirit of “just do it”.

Then Nick Nostitz presented some photos about the red. vs. yellow shirt conflict in Thailand. It was quite powerful to see the images, and realize that all this stuff had been happening while I was buying friend chicken on my soi.

The strongest pictures, the ones who left me completely speechless, were “A Fragile Peace” by Paula Bronstein, who has been documenting Afghanistan for 8 years.

Audience member: “How was it for you as a woman photographer in Afghanistan? Did you find that the people you were photographing were more difficult with you because you were a woman? Or did they just ignore that because you were a member of the press?”

Paula: “No, they were more difficult with me because I am a woman. And I was more difficult with them.”

You can see some examples of Paula’s photography here.

1 Response to “last night: photozero photojournalism expo at raindogs”

  1. 1 James March 21, 2009 at 3:25 am

    I’m curious about this yellow shirt – red shirt thing lol… someone asked me about it recently, but it was a complex question about symbolism rather than actual politics.

    It’s really strange to have a bourgeois elite that brings down a democratically elected government, isn’t it? And the red-shirted ones are the reactionaries…

    But it seems to me that Thailand doesn’t really have a left-wing party proper – I was reading the wikipedia page for Thai politics the other day, and all the parties appear to be center-right, either royalist (democrat) or populist/nationalist (other)… although elsewhere I read that the dems were historically a left party, but have ‘since adopted some of Thaksin’s populist policies’; but surely Thaksin’s populist policies e.g. micro loans for the rural poor, 30bht healthcare etc, were his quasi-Keynesian left policies? Because I’m sure the anti-democratic, corruption, extra judicial bizness wasn’t ‘populist’ for anyone…

    Sorry, I’m bit vague here… Just thinking that it’s difficult to grasp much of this w/o speaking & reading Thai, since I haven’t really seen any political writing about Thailand that discusses ideology. Also saw somewhere that many members of the ex-communist party joined TRT – it’s not really surprising, since all the other parties do have this anti-rural bias, don’t they?

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A blog about culture and technology in South-East Asia.

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