Cedric Gerbehaye – The “Concerned Photographer”

January 11, 2010 § 1 Comment

A little over a month ago The New York Times launched their LENS: Photography, Video and Visual Journalism blog.  As they describe on the site, “Lens is the photojournalism blog of The New York Times, presenting the finest and most interesting visual and multimedia reporting — photographs, videos and slide shows.”

The current exhibit on LENS is titled “Showcase: No Relief and Little Attention,” and presents the work of Belgian photojournalist, Cedric Gerbehaye, who found as a “journalist by training, photography imposed itself upon him as a form of journalistic writing, which he began to practice during visits to Indonesia.”  In 2007 and 2008 Mr. Gerbehaye visited remote regions of Congo to document the effects on the Congolese of the failed peace process in Eastern part of the country.  The result of his efforts is his award-winning work “Congo in Limbo,” a portion of which is presented in this online exhibit.

The pictures are moving, disturbing.  They serve to remind us (or maybe inform us anew) of the devastating realities of violent conflict.  Maybe we want to know about it, maybe we don’t.  Mr. Gerbehaye asks that we not turn away.  As he told the Times,

If there is only a slight possibility that it has an impact, it’s my duty to do it. … So that people cannot say, ‘We didn’t know, we had no clue.’

In Susan Sontag’s On Photography she wrote, “Photographs furnish evidence. Something we hear about, but doubt, seems proven when we’re shown a photograph of it.”

Amen.

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