In the second half
of the 20th century, the humanist philosophy set forth by
concerned photographers found a strong echo among a new generation
of documentary photographers such as James Nachtwey, Philip
Jones Griffiths, Marc Riboud, Don McCullin, Josef Koudelka,
Raymond Depardon and others.
They are dedicated
to recording man's inability to be human with the hope that
their testimony will contribute to raise world consciousness
and help prevent further disasters.
The truth that pushes these photographers into action is that
man himself is the origin of the agony and misery which besets
the majority of the peoples of this world.
The concerned photographers use their art as a powerful means
to drive them nearer to the core of human experience, to the
true reality they then convey, keeping the sources of their
own creative imagination intact despite the wear and tear
of constant contention with a vast, impersonal communication
If images, in their
passionate and truthful best, cannot alone bring change, they
can at least provide an undistorted mirror of man's actions,
thereby sharpening human awareness and awakening conscience.
Don McCullin used to say: "Who needs great pictures when
somebody is dying? We don't need great pictures. We need something
very quick to understand that we as human beings are not permitted
to allow this."
Thomas Pizer is a multimedia designer working with "Flying
Pixel" in Geneva.