Like a coat of rain

The question of what means ethics in photojournlism today. The personal participation on reporting about the suffering of others. The ambiguty between glory and compassion. The social and media use of photography in our daily life.

Interview partners 2015-2018

 

LIKE A COAT OF RAIN

documentary & book project

Between fame and compassion. An inhuman ritual that has been documented by generations of photographers, is for me the starting point to a documentary about ethics in photojournalism. As a multimedia producer I take a look at the creation of some of the latest high valued photostories done by Finnish photographer Meeri Koutaniemi and Spanish Kim Manresa about a horrible theme, as it is the circumcision of the clitoris in children. At the same time I want to question the meaning and functioning of photography in the world today.

I’m interested in the ethical aspects of this issue. I am concerned with the question of personal participation, voyeurism in society and the fame of the artist. Making interviews with professionals of media and photography I want to work out if photojournalism is like a coat of rain falling on society until it’s capable of change.

I am now looking for answers to the following questions:

  • What is the higher purpose of photojournalism?
  • Can photojournalism make the world a better place?
  • What are the ethical rules that should be followed?
  • How does photojournalism bring change to a society?
 Does a possible change in the mindset of people depend on the culture they live in?

And more specifically:

  • Is the work on a project, that is so marked by personal suffering, something a photographer can prepare for emotionally?
  • How much is a photographer affected by the personal fate of a child/a person and how far can personal involvement go?
  • Why do certain themes in international photojournalism repeat cyclically?

Does photojournalism today have a way that allows dedicated reporters to stand up for human rights or is it merely the result of a media circus, where young artists are willing to present the horrors of the world in a exhibition?

MY PROJECT IS ABOUT THE ROLE OF PHOTOGRAPHY TODAY.

Art is awareness raising.

The broad debate over ethics in photography and particularly in photojournalism has narrowed in recent years into questions of aesthetics and the manipulation of the image. This is evident especially in the World Press Award, the most prestigious prize for journalistic photography, where just last year a winner got his prize revoked because his pictures were not authentic enough. For me personally, the debate about ethics is a different one, one that goes far deeper and is much more difficult to answer.

A proverb says: A picture is worth a 1,000 words. But can a moving image still reach the hearts of people when they are already exhausted by the constant media flood of news?

A recent aspect of my work is the current refugee crisis in Europe and reporting on it. Even though many refugees have made the long trip to Europe, it was one single photo, published on Twitter, that has shaken the European public. It was the photo of a dead child on a Greek beach that became the symbol for the personal tragedies and the suffering of the migrants. People need icons to understand the world and to act. This is the role of photography and it becomes more and more important. I want to make this part comprehensible and tell the stories of the people in and behind the pictures.

I have a deep interest in finding out in my interviews whether the work a person does makes a difference in this world. Often the small stories make us a different artist/ photographer but also change us forever as human beings. Maybe I will be a different person after completing this project.

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