Remembering James Foley, part 2

RememberingJim.org
RememberingJim.org

The day after James Foley’s tragic death, we collected a number of remembrances written by friends and colleagues.  Many more have been published since the news first came out, and we thought it’d be good to link to those here.

Since Foley’s death, there has been much written about freelancers covering war, government response to kidnapping, what was and can be done to save Foley and others held captive in Syria and elsewhere, the dangers faced by local journalists, and what it means to publish gruesome images released by organizations with agendas. It’s impossible to link to them all, but here are a few that I’ve found interesting:

  1. James Foley’s Killing Highlights Debate Over Ransom
  2. James Foley’s killers pose many threats to local, international journalists
  3. James Foley’s Choices
  4. The Men Who Killed James Foley
  5. Should Twitter Have Taken Down the James Foley Video?
  6. James Foley Among Many Young, Close-Knit Freelance War Reporters
  7. James Foley is a reminder why freelance reporting is so dangerous
  8. James Foley and fellow freelancers: exploited by pared-back media outlets
  9. Did New York tabloids go too far by printing gruesome images of James Foley’s execution?
  10. How to Take a Picture of a Severed Head [← This one was published before news of Foley's killing but fits in line with the discussion of publishing images released by terrorist organizations, governments, etc.]

Meanwhile, over the weekend, tremendous news arrived that Peter Theo Curtis, a journalist missing since 2012, had been released. He was apparently held by an Al Qaeda affiliate there after his abduction from Turkey near the Syrian Border.

Steven Sotloff, the other American journalist seen in the Foley execution video, remains in peril. The Committee to Protect Journalists notes that 69 journalists have been killed since 2012, and an estimated 20 journalists, primarily Syrian, are presumed missing there.

Sohrab Hura joins Magnum: “Life is Elsewhere”

Sohrab Hura is one of the photographers whose work I’ve been eagering following closely for years, going back to when Scott and I first saw his work on Flickr. His earlier photos are reminiscent of traditional black and white reportage but his deeply personal project “Life is Elsewhere” has grown into a fantastic, impressionistic style. We, and many others, were very excited to learn a few weeks ago that Hura had joined Magnum Photos as a nominee (Magnum’s Press Release). His “Life is Elsewhere” project has recently been published on the Magnum website and offers us all a chance to admire a extended edit of this work.

India. 2007. My first time playing Holi in Vrindavan. (c) Sohrab Hura / Magnum

… My Life is Elsewhere is a journal of my life, my family, my love, my friends, my travels, my sheer need to experience all that is about to disappear and so in a way I’m attempting to connect my own life with the world that I see with a hope to find my reality in it.” – Sohrab Hura

Hura offers an interesting description of his book: “Life is Elsewhere is a book of contradictions and of doubts and understandings and of laughter and forgetting in which I am trying to constantly question myself by simply documenting the broken fragments of my life which might seem completely disconnected to one another on their own. But I hope that in time I am able to piece together this wonderful jigsaw puzzle called life. And this journey will perhaps lead to reconciliation with my own life.”

Invisible Photographer Asia has an extended interview with Hura that was published earlier this month after the Magnum announcement. It offers a lot of insight into Hura’s work and motivation, how he has edited his work, as well as a glimpse at newer projects.

Hura’s biography from Magnum:

“Sohrab Hura was born on 17th October 1981 in a small town called Chinsurah in West Bengal, India and he grew up changing his ambitions from one exciting thing to another. He started with dreams of growing up and becoming a dog, which later turned to becoming a superhero and then to a veterinarian to a herpetologist to becoming a wild life film maker. Today he is a photographer, after having completed his Masters in Economics. He is currently the coordinator of the Anjali House children’s photography workshop that takes place during the Angkor Photo Festival, Cambodia every year and his home base is New Delhi, India.”

Congratulations to Sohrab! We are looking forward to seeing more of your work gain a wider audience.

Also worth checking out, if you haven’t already, is Prasiit Sthapit’s “Change of Course”, a project recommended by Hura to Dvafoto last year. Sthapit was one of Sohrab’s students in a workshop in Kathmandu in 2012.

Worth a read: Journalist recounts her sexual assault by a colleague on her first night in Ukraine

“I was halfway through talking about the political situation in Britain when the Very Respected Journalist called me ‘baby’ (really, people can say that without irony?) and shoved his beer-and-whisky-churned-together tongue down my throat. After unironically ‘baby’-ing me a few more times, the Very Respected Journalist pushed me towards his bedroom…. This was the third country in which I’d cried in a shower and checked my body for bruises as a by-product of trying to become a journalist.” -anonymous, First Night in Kyiv

Last week, Balkanist magazine published an account by a young presumably-British journalist’s of her sexual assault by a colleague on the night of her arrival in Kyiv, Ukraine, to cover the political situation there. The piece is well worth a read, raising important points about what women face working in the male-dominated field of conflict journalism.

Sexual assaults against female journalists are rarely discussed. And while the public should not expect detailed accounts of such personal matters (for instance, Amanda Lindhout’s 460 days held captive in Somalia involved horrors and atrocities some of which she says she’ll never share), sexual violence against female journalists, such as the horrific attack against Lara Logan in Tahrir Square, is an important part of the discussion of dangers faced by reporters around the world.