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Concerned Photographers

The new generation

Red Cross, Red Crescent continues to feature the evolution of documentary photography over more than half a century. After part one devoted to the pioneers (see Issue 4/2000), we now focus on the new generation of concerned photographers who emerged in the 1960s.

Ethiopia 1997, Raymond Depardon, Magnum

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 machine.

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
Thomas Pizer is a multimedia designer working with "Flying Pixel" in Geneva.

"I'm trying to make pictures of something which is going to be destroyed,
to get the best out of it, to keep it ."
Prague 1968, Josef Koudelka, Magnum

"I do not want to show war in general, nor history with a
capital H, but rather the tragedy of a single man, of a family."
Rwanda 1994, James Nachtwey, Magnum

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