How Women are changing the nature of war photography

In this article written by Melanie Abrams, she talks about Robert Capa and how he had defined the image of war photography.  Ever since this she talks about how conflict photography has been seen more as a man’s job, while the stories of women war photographers have been put to the side.  In the article she begins to explain that today there are far more women who are able to photograph in war zones, such as Susan Meiselas, however the amount of female war photographers in the Magnum photo agency only totals 7 out of a total 79 international photographers, showing how minimized a women’s role is in war photography.

Explained by British photographer Jenny Matthews who see’s much more women in the photojournalist realm now, but women are stilled outweighed by men.  “It is much harder for women, because of the assumption that we don’t have the killer instinct, or the persistence to hang around in the rain with a heavy bag.” A lot of the limitations she’s talking about are physical, and a stereotype of how men are the only ones capable of carrying large amounts of equipment while traversing through treacherous war infested terrain.  Meiselas recalls while she was working in Nicaragua and El Salvador that working in the war zone isn’t just a physical toll but also an emotionally demanding one too, where you have to be aware of the dangers on the streets.

Meislas thinks that women can sometimes be accused of having emotions interfere with their work.  She also points out differences between male and female photographers: “Women sometimes think of better ways to capture a story. We look behind the action and have different priorities, such as the human interest.” She talks about how that twenty years ago there were rarely any images of women who were left behind in conflict zones, but now you can see women in refugee camps all the time working the same way as the men do.

From the fringes to the frontline. (Accessed April 28, 2017)


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