SPECIAL FOCUS: 7 WOMEN WAR PHOTOGRAPHERS

by Sohail May 11, 2014 at 1:38 pm

It so happened that we see war masculine eyes. Talking about war photography, most of us will remember the name of Robert Capa, someone might come to mind Don McCallin, some mentioned James Nahtveya. But almost no one would call female names. We decided to remedy this situation, show female perspective on the war and remember the famous women photographers on the battlefield.

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Gerda Taro

In 2007, the public were presented treasures “Mexican suitcase” – about 4,500 lost negatives since the Civil War in Spain. These photos are not only allowed to see previously unknown images of Robert Capa, but also to return from oblivion his close friend, photographer Gerda Taro.

Gerda Taro, or Pohorille Gerda, was a German Jewish refugee. Since her youth, she was active in the Communist movement, and did not stop work until Hitler came to power. In 1933 she had to leave their homeland and settle in Paris, where she met a young photographer André Friedmann, a refugee from Hungary. Andre taught her the basics of photography, and together they came up with the character of the person who sold the pictures to newspapers – and a successful young American named Robert Capa. While American origin provides a great opportunity, and Andre Friedman was really successful because of this name.

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Photographic career began very Gerda Taro during the Spanish Civil War, and there is, unfortunately, ended. Gerda was fearless photographer and unprofessional journalist. She went to war not as a neutral face, but as a political activist and being on the battlefield periodically shill Republicans to attack. In her pictures, you can see that she really learned from Capa and fully shared his maxim that in proximity to the object lies a good frame – she dreaded even shoot at the forefront.

Ironically, it turned out to be the best photo for her last. In 1937, arrived in Spain agonizing second time, Gerda Taro was filming a major battle – the battle of Brunete. Filmed a large report, Gerda was traveling by car backing Republicans. The car was in an accident and the photographer died from his injuries.

In Paris, it was honored as a hero, he Alberto Giacometti made her gravestone, and Pablo Neruda made in memoriam.

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Margaret Bourke-White

Unlike Gerda Taro, Margaret Bourke-White consciously built his career photojournalist.Beginning in the late 1920s, she actively took pictures on the industrial theme, was one of the first Western photographer who admitted to Soviet industrial facilities, and eventually became the first female photojournalist magazine Life.

Bourke-White in general has often been the first in anything, so sometimes it is even called the first woman – military photojournalist. This is unfair both to the Gerda Taro, and in relation to Helen Johns Kirtland, who rented in the First World War.

At the same time, Margaret Bourke-White was one of the first who started to shoot World War II and the only Western press photographer who was able to catch the beginning of the Great Patriotic War in Moscow. Here she filmed a bit surreal night bombing photos, and then went to accompany the Allied forces in North Africa, Italy and Germany, made a few stories about the lives of American pilots in the British bases and most importantly – recorded the release of prisoners of concentration camps.

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“On that April day in Weimar felt some atmosphere of unreality, at least that is what I’m feeling stubbornly clung. I kept repeating to myself that believe in indescribably horrible sight, but when I can look at their own pictures. Using the camera gave some relief. She created a small barrier between me and those around me a nightmare. “

Horror Buchenwald not made Bourke-White to change his profession and a few years later she was again in the midst of a nightmare. It was a time division of the former “Pearl of Great Britain” to modern India and Pakistan, the mass religious conflicts, “massive exercise in human suffering” (as the photographer called the events).

But it does not end there. Bourke-White willingly went to his second war. Now it was already in Korea, but here photographer stumbled upon almost medieval events –  frame with head of the North Korean prisoner  became a symbol of that terrible fratricidal war.

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Lee Miller

Until 1980 about Lee Miller spoke mostly only in connection with its culinary activities, and even her son learned that his mother was an outstanding photographer, only after her death. 

Childhood Lee Miller was not easy: a family friend raped her and infected with gonorrhea, when she was only seven, and his father took off her naked for their experiments with stereoscopic photography years from 12. In 1920 an adult Elizabeth moved to New York and worked as a model, but soon she got bored and she moved to Paris, where he became an assistant, and student of the famous mistress of Man Ray. There she learned to master the technique of solarization, began filming myself and even performed for him a few photographs. Miller quickly managed to subdue the bohemian Paris of that time: the Surrealists, Picasso, Cocteau and many other avant-garde artists were her good friends.

 

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It is noteworthy that the war thanks to Lee Miller got accreditation from the magazine Vogue.It came right after the U.S. troops and with Life magazine photographer traveled to France and Germany, taking use of napalm at the siege of Saint-Malo, the battle for Alsace, liberation of Paris, Buchenwald and Dachau. Miller made the stunning pictures in these camps: sleeping peacefully drowned-SS, begging for mercy security, half-dead people skeletons. It seems that surrealism caught up with her again.

However, the most famous frame Lee Miller was not done at Buchenwald and Dachau. They became the portrait in abandoned apartments Adolf Hitler in Munich. The photo was taken by David Sherman April 30, 1945 – the same day Hitler committed suicide in Berlin.

 

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After the war, Lee began to suffer from depression and post-traumatic stress syndrome and threw picture.

 

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Catherine Leroy

Parisian of good family, fragile and petite girl named Catherine wean conservative Catholic school, studied music and going to become a pianist. 

Everything was as typical parents would dream of a prosperous bourgeois area, but when war broke out in Vietnam, young Catherine took my camera and bought a one-way ticket. It was quite an adventurous undertaking: 21 years old, no experience shooting war, no portfolio as a photographer. On the plane, she met another American journalist Charles Bonnet, through whom received journalistic accreditation. Catherine starts shooting, and after a while she manages to get a job in the Associated Press. She paid just $ 15 for a photo, but thanks to his ability to make exclusive pictures, her work has become indispensable. In 1967, Catherine became the first photojournalist-paratrooper and the only photographer who was filming “Junction City” – the largest operation of U.S. Marines in Vietnam. A little later, she finds herself near the base Khensan in the midst of “the battle for height”, where she makes her most famous picture – “suffering medic.”

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During hostilities Leroy gets injured and miraculously survived: a few pieces of shrapnel in her fall, Nikon, and the rest will remain in her body forever. But Catherine continues to make Vietnam and is on the territory seized by North Vietnam. However, she not only misses the prisoner, but also gets the opportunity to take photos with the other hand – it helps a French passport. Despite the roots of the war in Vietnam, the French origin often helped her – during the shootings, she sang something in French to her side did not fire.

After Vietnam, Catherine is sent to a small vacation in New York, experiencing post-traumatic syndrome, and again goes to shoot in hot spots – the fall of Saigon, Northern Ireland, Somalia, Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan and even the time of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus. In 1982, it again appears on the verge of death – its militants kidnapped in Beirut and threatened to shoot, but miraculously, she manages to escape. 

Leroy became the first woman to receive the Medal of Robert Capa, left a lot of photos from around the world and always managed to show his courage, which is so discordant with its fragility.

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Christine Spengler

A native of Alsace came into the profession almost by accident. At age 24, she was traveling with his brother Chad, when he came across a small group of barefoot rebels, shooting off into the sky in a desperate attempt to get into the French helicopters. Wild and a little strange picture caused her not wanting to go away, and fix all the camera. Her brother while working fashion photographer, and the camera was at hand. After the incident, Christine realized that her interest in life, and my brother gave her his “Nikon”, with whom she has worked for most of his 30-year career. Prior to that Spengler was never interested in photography and do not even really know who Robert Capa, which allowed it to have its own special, nezamylenny look and constantly find special events and perspectives.

Illustrative example is the apocalyptic picture “Bombardment of Phnom Penh.”

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While all her fellow photographers relaxed poolside, arguing that even the military in the resurrection going Spengler yielded some instinct and filmed one of the best shots of his career. Perhaps this same instinct made her special and select objects, pay attention not only to the warring men, but women and children, through whom we more clearly read the full horror of hostilities. From Northern Ireland to Eritrea from Western Sahara to Afghanistan, from Iran to Cambodia – everywhere Spengler saw what others missed. She has always stood by its appearance. Spengler never wore helmets and body armor, only the most ordinary clothes. Photographer herself says she has never been afraid of death, but in 1973, after her brother committed suicide, she spent several years unsuccessfully looking for her.

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Francoise Demyulder

Another Frenchwoman, which is heavily influenced by the Vietnam War and iconicity snapshot children burnt by napalm, was Francoise Demyulder nicknamed Fifi. She studied at the Faculty of Philosophy, worked as a model and, of course, was a political activist. Such as it is referred to as “children of 1968.” But two years later she protests alone was not enough, and, inspired by the example Catherine Leroy, she went on a trip to South Vietnam. Together with her boyfriend she toured the territories covered by the hostilities, took pictures and left them in the office Associated Press. Francoise was lucky she came under the wing Horst Faas, photographer and head of Photography Department of AP. She had properly fearlessness and why was the only one who managed to shoot the very end of the Vietnam War. Her first picture received cult status – “The Fall of Saigon” – depicts casually entering the territory of the presidential palace in Saigon North Vietnamese tanks.


 

Also Demyulder only Australian operator Neil Davis was able to fix these epochal seconds.However, they say he was in Saigon was not for this, and because ordered a suit and did not have time to take his time.

 

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Demyulder had an amazing talent to be at the right time in the right place. After only a year after she was Saigon in the eastern district of Beirut and took the famous massacre in quarantine. Still completely changed picture of the situation in the Middle East – after many have ceased to believe in good and bad Christian Phalangist Muslim Palestinians, and realized that they both can play the role of the aggressor. With this shot she became the first female winner of World Press Photo and forever became friends with the protector of all Palestinians, Yasser Arafat.

 

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Anya Nidringaus

Death Ani Nidringaus made a special impression on many. First, the stories of colleagues, Anya was very careful woman, she was just a journalist and not an adventurer and always thought about their safety. Secondly, in the events was a man in uniform Afghan policeman who deliberately and coolly fired at journalists.

“I’m close, but in most cases, trying to be inconspicuous. I think this is the trick. “

Ani career began at the age of 16 in his hometown of Hester. Anya was asked to write an article about the demonstration, but instead she brought photos and insisted on their publication.Since then it has steadily been building his career photojournalist. First there was the fall of the Berlin wall and work in the German agency EPA, after a year of work in the former Yugoslavia and the Associated Press, where she worked until her death.

In 2005 Nidringaus won the Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of the war in Iraq, and later made a very special American personnel wounded in Afghanistan. That was the time when she was reporting from a helicopter medical evacuation team: pass through them almost all the seriously wounded soldiers, some die in the same place during transport. One of the wounded, a Brit Barness, something caught Nidringaus. During the flight, she did his shots and held the hand, and then could not throw his name out of the head as he was alive there?

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After an extensive search Anya could find young Marines, by the time he made numerous transactions and even removed part of the skull, but he knew Anna was awfully glad to see her.Scary because he asked to look at their pictures. Anya took them with him and, as an experienced photographer, know that you can not miss the moment. Nidringaus made stunning, almost recursive snapshot of where Britt Barness looks at himself – he’s alive, but it seems he does not understand how it happened.

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