Private troubles in public spaces.
Is it morally and ethically right to photograph and publish images of human suffering and pain?
I think its all down to interpretation and how one sees the image and to what purpose its used. Some of the most powerful and influential images there has been are of human distress and pain. Some of these images have influenced social and political change and exposed horrific crimes to the rest of the world and raised awareness. Photographers such as Kevin Carter, Nick Ut, Jeff Widener, John Dominis, Malcolm Browne, Robert Capa, Dmitri Baltermants, Eddie Adams, Roger Fenton and Kurt Strumpf (to name just a small few) allowed us to see and feel human suffering most of us couldn’t imagine.
Many of these and other photographers around the world position themselves in dangerous places and situations to capture these moments in time that often affix themselves in our memories and raise an awareness or stimulate our conscience to act or make changes.
I often have a dilemma about censorship and who has the right or not to stop me seeing an image. Again, this is down to personal interpretation but how are we as a race meant to change and grow and develop and of course, help others if we don’t get to see whats going on?
On a tiny scale however, my images of angst and emotional distress are open to interpretation. I’ve made no money from these, they are not on show as a means to mock or disrespect the people within. For me, they act as a reminder that we all go through times in our lives where we are faced with emotional pain, distress or angst and regardless of how it appears to others and how trivial it may seem to others, it is still OUR distress and should never be devalued. They act also as a reminder to be kind, to reach out if necessary to someone who may be in distress, who knows, it could change someones life.