“It’s a toss up whether or not I was that much better off getting off point and flank and into a photography job.” - Charlie Haughey
I have a love-hate relationship with conflict photography. On the one hand, I have immense respect for those men and women who put themselves in harm’s way to make photographs in order that the rest of us may look into events and situations that we may otherwise not be able to begin to even fathom. On the other hand, while humans are capable of extraordinary outpourings of love and compassion, we are also capable of unimaginable horrors against one another, and this, unfortunately, is the stage where the conflict photographers play their part.
He never intended to be a conflict photographer. In fact, Charlie Haughey was making cabinets in Michigan after running out of money and dropping out of college. However, in October of 1967, he received a draft notice telling him that he was to serve a tour of duty in Vietnam. After two months as a rifleman, Haughey was made a photographer with the orders from his colonel: “You are not a combat photographer. This is a morale operation. If I see pictures of my guys in papers doing their jobs with honor, then you can do what you like in Vietnam.” Between March of 1968 and May of 1969, Haughey made nearly 2,000 photographs, ranging from his fellow soldiers to rural Vietnamese life, to the handling of Viet Cong detainees. Once he returned home, the negatives would not see the light of day for 45 years until “a chance meeting brought them out of dormancy” in 2012. Since then, a small, dedicated team of volunteers has been working with Charlie to digitize and catalog the negatives he brought back from that “God-forsaken place.” To that end, they have assembled 28 never before seen photographs into a show called A Weather Walked In, which will premiere at ADX in Portland on April 5th, 2013.
[via The Big Picture]
The Annenberg Space
The Annenberg Space for Photography, here in southern California, just opened their new show, WAR/PHOTOGRAPHY, a collection of 150 of the most significant images of armed conflict since 1887. In addition to presenting images by photographers including Joe Rosenthal, Alfred Eisenstaedt and Eddie Adams. In addition, they are presenting The War Photographers, a documentary produced by the Annenberg Space that features over 500 photos from six acclaimed contemporary conflict photographers: Alexandra Avakian, Carolyn Cole, Ashley Gilbertson, Edouard H.R. Glück, David Hume Kennerly and Joao Silva.