All submitted, this morning.
Mick Yates. 2018. Choeung Ek (The Killing Fields).
The opening statement from my Critical Review:
I am documenting the personal stories of people that we have known for twenty years, and who suffered during the Khmer Rouge Genocide of 1975-1979. This is a multi-faceted project, with activities that will go on past the MA. Photography, text, voice recording, and video are all part of it.
In this Work in Progress, I am combining infrared photographs with quotes from Sarath, a survivor of the Genocide, and my friend.
The aim is to create images which only give up the horror of place when studied, so engaging the audience without being overly literal. The eye should move from image to text, and back again. Each of the images stands alone, although the series narrates a story.
The work involves paradox, with haunting images, possibly even beautiful ones, uncovering personal suffering and social atrocity.
Over the years, my documentary practice has evolved towards a desire to change people’s perceptions about social issues. Robert Frank summed this up perfectly.
‘Above all, life for a photographer cannot be a matter of indifference, and it is important to see what is invisible to others’. (Frank, 1958).
Bill Jay went further, making it essentially an ethical responsibility to share the truth, a view I share.
‘While images still have the capacity to disturb us, I have hopes for both the human race and the medium of photography’. (Jay, 1992: 43).
I am guided by the principle that ‘we are more the same than we are different, although the details of difference matter’. Photographers can tell the truth in respectful and ethical ways. although, as Susie Linfield pointed out, the audience still remains responsible ‘for the ethics of seeing’.
‘Photojournalists are responsible for the ethics of showing, but we are responsible for the ethics of seeing’. (Linfield, 2010: 60).
Work in Progress
PDF file here: Informing Contexts Critical Review Final
Critical Research Journal
Critical Review References
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