James Nachtwey: Photojournalist Documenting The Devastating Impact Of Conflict

Conflict photojournalists have a tough job depicting the harsh realities of wars and bringing them to the public’s attention.

James Nachtwey, an American photojournalists and war photographer, started his career in New York City in 1980 as a freelance photographer. The Vietnam War and the American civil rights movement left a profound impact on him and were crucial in his decision to become what he is today.

Since 1984 he has been working for Time magazine as a contract photographer. His work is well known throughout Europe and the U.S. Nachtwey covered dangerous conflicts and major social issues in Bosnia, Lebanon, Gaza, India, Russia, Kosovo, Romania, Rwanda, Sudan, and more. He was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from Time Inc. at the Henry Luce Awards.

Nachtwey doesn’t use Twitter and Instagram to share his work, but he utilizes Facebook and has his own web page. His extensive photographic essays document the struggles of humanity. It is utterly impossible to stay immune to his unflinching photographs and that is exactly his goal – to urge the world powers to do something about the massive destruction that is taking place in our time, and about the millions of civilian atrocities and suffering around the world. With his camera, Nachtwey captured genocide, disease, refugees and starvation.

The massacre at Nyarabuye took place in the grounds of a Catholic Church and school. Hundreds of Tutsis, including many children, were slaughtered at close range, Rwanda, 1994.
The massacre at Nyarabuye took place in the grounds of a Catholic Church and school. Hundreds of Tutsis, including many children, were slaughtered at close range, Rwanda, 1994.
December 2013. Za'atari refugee camp, Jordan. This newborn baby boy was delivered by an NGO doctor assisted by a nurse and later by a member of the baby's family.
December 2013. Za’atari refugee camp, Jordan. This newborn baby boy was delivered by an NGO doctor assisted by a nurse and later by a member of the baby’s family.

 

Starvation Photography

 

Nachtwey utilizes Facebook as a platform to share his work with the readers. I wouldn’t say that he is an active participant in the social media world, but a moderate one. His posts are updated approximately once a month when he wants to showcase his latest work

Screen Shot 2015-02-23 at 7.58.19 AM

or inform the readers about the award that he had received.

Screen Shot 2015-02-23 at 8.01.00 AM

When I visit his Facebook page I don’t feel like I’m drowning in a vast amount of unnecessary and trivial information. I enjoy going through his photo-galleries and I admire his work that he’s so obviously passionated about. I’m thrilled that he doesn’t tweet every day about this place that he visited, that person he saw dying from hunger, and so on. That makes him even more interesting and unique. And even though he doesn’t use social media much, he is still “considered by many to be the greatest war photographer of recent decades.” His focus is primarily on his work and not on bragging about it on social media. This is the kind of journalist that I would like to be.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s