João Silva’s “Fateful” Afghanistan reportage

The New York Times has just published an article on Afghanistan by Carlotta Gall, who was with photographer João Silva and a US unit when Silva stepped on a mine last month. The article is titled “Hoping to Avoid Bombs and Win Afghan Minds” and is illustrated with images from Silva’s “fateful assignment”. The NYT Lens Blog also has a post showing an edit of photographs from the memory card Silva was using at the time of his incident, along with a video of him editing some of the pictures with Times staff at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in the US.

But what froze me is this image, which comes from the accompanying slideshow to the article (note: it is not clear from the caption which day or time the image was taken). It is eerily similar to photographer Robert Capa’s final image from Indo-China before he stepped on a mine and was killed. I remember seeing this back in a photo history class or book years ago. This slideshow from Silva, who fortunately has survived his injuries and is recuperating, is a tragic reminder of Capa’s death.

We previously wrote about a fund set up to aid Silva’s recovery, consider donating or buying a print.

Editors Note (11/30): I wanted to reiterate that the NYT slideshow does not mention when the image by Silva picture was taken, or if it was even from the day he was injured by the mine. Furthermore, the NYT Lens Blog post is about the last sequence of images shot before and the three images after Silva was injured. We regret if the original post caused any confusion.

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