Warning: session_start(): open(/tmp/sess_3pn37r3ftfs3j83q605m2toir5, O_RDWR) failed: Disk quota exceeded (122) in /home/awaysheg/public_html/wp-content/themes/Divi/header.php on line 1
Reflection Archives - Away She Goes
Violence, Agency, Photojournalism and Activism

Violence, Agency, Photojournalism and Activism

TW/CN: This post contains several famous graphic images. As someone who works in multiple media to mobilize people around causes, I’ve had a lot to think about this year. The entire Black Lives Matter movement has been a case study in average people mobilizing the masses in order to force traditional media coverage, as well as how to use a loosely-tied grassroots network to subvert and exploit media coverage in service to a cause. Most recently, though, the photo of two dead toddlers whose bodies washed up on the beach in Bodrum, Turkey, has got the wheels turning. As a photographer, one of the questions I often grapple with is those situations where I find myself wondering, do I take the picture? Of course, the photographer in me answers: take the picture, you can always decide what to do about it later. But the advocate in me wonders about the harm that can be done just in the act of photographing. There’s also the idea that once an image exists, it could be seen by someone else like an editor who would take the decision about what to do with it out of my hands. Images like the ones of the boy on the beach in Bodrum always seem to simultaneously be completely necessary and yet eat away at the photographers who take them. In this case, Nilufer Demir, the photographer who took the image said, “I wished there was no problem in their country, that they hadn’t left it and hadn’t tried to leave Turkey and that I hadn’t taken this photograph. But as I found them dead,...
Robbed

Robbed

On Monday, my laptop, external hard drive, and ipod were all stolen from my office at my new job.  It happened in the middle of the day, while other people were in our suite, which is tucked away in a rarely-visited corner.  I was only gone for about half an hour.  Luckily no one else lost anything, no one got hurt, and I had my phone and wallet with me.  I kept hoping there was some other explanation–that I had left my laptop at home, or a coworker had moved my ipod.  Yes, I did everything I was supposed to do, from filing a report to changing my passwords.  I know people mean well, but I’m not all that interested in advice that would require time travel for me to carry it out. It’s so strange to not have a “when it happened” moment.  I have been robbed before, but in this instance there was no action, just a realization that I didn’t have my things and it wasn’t a mistake.  There’s also some irony in that these objects have been with me all over the world, and yet they were taken from my posh new job at home.  I keep hoping that maybe the thief will see the laptop is a pc, and ditch it.  Or that they’ll have a heart when they see the hard drive is just a terabyte of images, and will turn it in as though they found it.  I would honestly let them keep the stuff if they offered to give back the data.  But I know none of that is realistic.  As the cop said,...
Boston Marathon Tributes

Boston Marathon Tributes

I was hoping to post something on Wednesday with my thoughts on the marathon a year out, but Tuesday night’s events left me exhausted in more ways than one.  I’m glad no one got hurt and that there was no actual potential for violence, and I hope he finds the help that he needs.  I also hope his family gets some privacy and the support that they surely need as well.  There’s a lot out there on the marathon, some better than others.  Here’s a round-up of some of my favorite marathon-related things hanging around the internet. Jeff Bauman, seen by many as the face (along with Carlos Arredondo, he of the cowboy hat) of the Boston Marathon survivors wrote a great piece at the Guardian explaining how he feels about the famous wheelchair photo, and how he hopes we’ll view it.  I think it’s incredibly powerful for him to take charge of his own narrative and of this devastating thing that was inflicted upon him.  It’s also fascinating from the standpoint of photography and journalism to think about whether taking this photo was a good idea, and to hear Jeff’s thoughts about the image and the man responsible.  If you didn’t see the coverage at the time, you’ll also note that most people who weren’t on twitter at the time or actively seeking it out haven’t seen the complete image, in a self-imposed censorship similar to the images of people jumping from the twin towers.  The images are seen as too much, and too damaging a way for  a loved one to get bad news (as Jeff’s parents...

The Things that Comfort Me

As I was writing my last post, it felt important to be honest.  I know that we’re all supposed to see the silver lining and be uplifting, but that’s not particularly how I feel.  But I also know that there is so much good that has happened in the last day or so, and that is equally honest, so I thought I should put it here as well.  There are a lot of lists floating around talking about marathoners giving blood and Joe Andruzzi being a fantastic guy (we already knew it, glad to have more proof), but that’s not what this is about.  This is all the odd little things that are making my hours a little less long, and sleep a little less elusive. The only thing that helped me power through Monday was trying to be useful.  Locating everyone, posting, fact-checking, and sharing were the only things I felt like I could do that could possibly help anyone.  I don’t really have much choice in the matter–my hyper-vigilence goes into overdrive any time there’s an actual crisis at hand, and getting all the “I’m ok” responses and disseminating them to others seemed to keep some of the mania in check. I got two different emails from strangers kindly thanking me and applauding my humanity for offering up my apartment to those in need.  The cynic in me knew almost immediately that there was no way anyone would come back out to Brookline to stay, and given how quickly the list spread and grew, it became clear that adding our apartments to the list was more about...
They Came for My City

They Came for My City

Boston has always been my city, just like it has always been my mother’s city and her mother’s before that.  The only place my family has ever been from, other than Boston, was Ireland.  I was born at the Brigham and spent some precious early years on the South Shore, just outside the city limits, in a place so deeply entrenched in all things Bostonian that it has always felt more intensely Boston than many of the tony neighborhoods within the city. We got our passports stamped and moved to the North Shore.  The ultimate freedom for my friends and I was to take the orange line in and wander around the city, unaccompanied by adults or reminders of how suburban we all were.  When it came time to pick a college, I knew I didn’t want to be anywhere else.  Sometimes friends or family back home made the mistake of thinking that the proximity of my parents’ home to Boston meant they would see me often, or that the two places were alike.  Neither presumption could have been more wrong. This city, which I more often call a town, has given so much to me.  While others lament the unreliability or rising price of the T, I find freedom in my ability to hop on a bus or train and discover whole worlds opening up before me.  I feel liberated by the knowledge that no matter which train or bus line I get on, I will never truly be lost.  I love the MBTA, I just don’t think it necessarily loves me back–especially the green line.  This city...

Naman

In October, we lost someone so magnetic that he’s still pulling us together, even in death.  Someone so funny and kind that at his funeral we laughed (almost) as much as we cried.  Someone so good to the core that he was donating as much time and money as he could, without fanfare or pretense.  Someone who is the only person who would know what to say to during all of these raw times. I met Naman on my trip to the Dominican Republic in May and June of 2011.  He was on my team, Rojo, and immediately became the most distinctive person on the entire trip.  As many have said, everyone felt like he was their best friend on the trip, because he treated everyone like the most important person he had ever met.  As we rumbled in a hot van with too few cracked pleather seats around that wonderful island country, Naman was always there with a song, dance, or imitation to keep our spirits up.  He always took his work seriously, although he never saw it as work. Everyone grieves in their own way.  But for people like us, people who can’t sleep at night because we can’t stop thinking of injustice in the world, people who are no fun at parties because we keep talking about this great new NGO or social business we just learned about, passive or solitary grief is not for us.  We have to do something, we have to organize, mobilize, and funderize.  We have to do this not just because it’s who we are, but also because it’s who Naman...

Subscribe Now

Join the Away She Goes mailing list to make sure you don't miss out! You'll get the monthly newsletter with posts, plus exclusives like travel discounts, never-before-seen photos and advanced travel plans that you won't find anywhere else. No spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time. 

Great Success!

Pin It on Pinterest

%d bloggers like this: