Journalists Under Fire

12 September ~ 6 October 2019, St Ann's Warehouse - 45 Water Street, Brooklyn, NY (PHOTOVILLE)

Inspired by The Last Column (published 2019 by The Committee To Protect Journalists) the producers of Photoville, New York's grassroots independent photo festival, sank time, energy and love into this exhibit that reminds us of the contribution made by journalists often working with extraordinary risk.  Stepping away from the bustle of the Photoville campus under Brooklyn Bridge and into the serene calm of St Ann's Warehouse one is almost blinded in the transition from sunlight to dark and our eyes adjust to reveal huge hanging boards, each featuring images and notes about photojournalists who were killed in the course of their work. It's poignant, exciting and chilling to see their work still alive and working publicly years after the deaths of the authors, but this isn't really the point of the show.   Turning to brace ourselves again to face the melee outside we see the real point, which is less about memory and more about urgent current concerns for the journalists working today to bring the news and knowledge we need.  A stack of stiff pocket-sized cards lists real practical advice for anyone venturing close to any sort of frontline, with headings Physical Safety, Digital Safety, Psychological Safety.

We should never forget those who died to bring us knowledge and even more importantly we must remember always that the risks are real and present for the many thousands of journalists carrying the torch today.