Melanie Abrams-From the Fringes to the Frontline-Schuyler DeMarinis-Reading #8

Before this class began, I had little to no knowledge about war photographers. As we studied it in this class and I did my research it did become apparent of this cowboy natured rugged male role that war photographers were envisioned to be. It was refreshing to read the article by Melanie Abrams, From the Fringes to the Frontline, and the article in The Guardian, Women War Photographers Capture Conflict. Just as women in the military increase, there is also a growth in women photographers dealing with conflict.

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Susan Meiselas, Nicaragua, 1978-79

   The main issue that prevents women from becoming sought out conflict photographers is the assumption that they don’t have what it takes to put their life on the line, wait for the right moment no matter what it takes, or have the same instincts as men do. What some female photographers such as Jenny Matthews and Susan Meiselas would do is use these assumptions to their advantage. Women are less threatening and can, therefore, be let into situations that men may not be able to access. Therefore getting a fuller story and exposing more than a man may be able to.

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Susan Meiselas, Nicaragua, 1978-79

   Meiselas also points out that she is criticized as a woman for letting her emotions get in the way of capturing the full story. This she disagrees with, and I am on her side. In the Guardians short article, they include a decent collection of Meiselas’s work during the Nicaragua civil war in the 1970’s. In these photographs, she is not capturing anything less than what Chris Hondros or Tim Hetherington brought to the table. Her work may be even stronger than theirs and goes completely unnoticed to many. There is in no way a sense that her emotions or her frankly being a woman makes any difference.

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Susan Meiselas, Nicaragua, 1978-79

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