Viewer or voyeur? The morality of reportage photography

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“Images as extreme as these beg so many questions about the morality of reportage. Did the photographer, one wonders, have any communication with the victim in the time leading up to the event? Would our reaction to the photographs be different if we knew that the condemned man granted the photographer permission to bear witness to his dreadful death? Would it be different if we knew that the photographer risked his own life to travel though strife-torn Somalia to bear witness, which, as one of the respondents to Jacobson’s blog points out, was probably the case. Does such extremity diminish us or enlighten us? Or simply shock us into a kind of impassioned helplessness?”

A really interesting article on photojournalism and the photography of trauma.

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