broadsideblog

A War Photographer Loses His Legs: Joao Silva’s Sacrifice

In behavior, business, Crime, Media, men, news, photography, politics, religion, the military, travel, work, world on December 1, 2010 at 12:45 pm
The New York Times building in New York, NY ac...

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Here is a new slide show on The New York Times‘ photo blog, Lens, of the images up to the moment that Joao Silva, one of the world’s top war photographers kept shooting — and stepped on a land mine.

He lost both his legs. He is now recovering at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. His wife and two children live in South Africa.

It is almost unbearable to me as a fellow career journalist who relies heavily on the bravery of men like Joao and his many colleagues to bring us the unvarnished news — that, in simply doing his job, he has been so grievously and permanently injured while I work safely at home at a suburban computer.

He even squeezed off three more frames after the explosion.

I write freelance for the Times and my partner has been a photographer there and now a photo editor, so Joao, and his work, feels like family.

Those who put themselves in harm’s way every workday do not always wear a military uniform. We have a camoflauge Kevlar vest — it’s so heavy! — in our storage locker that my sweetie wore every day he worked for the Times shooting the Bosnian war.

Every journalist, videographer, cameraman, fixer and translator telling these dangerous, possibly lethal and important stories is risking his or her life for us, for the truth, for the facts. For us. For our ability to know what’s happening before it it’s spun, twisted, hidden or omitted.

We  need to know what is going on in the world and we will always need, and rely heavily on, people like Joao to show us.

We owe them.

  1. Ah ha… so that’s what that big red button’s for!

    Yes – I have a good mate who does a similar gig for the Sydney Morning Herald. I consider her to be one of the bravest people I know and I take my hat off to her! The lengths she goes to, just to capture the truth.

    It’s long been my thought that you don’t have to wear a uniform to be considered courageous – especially given the nature of our modern day ‘conflicts’ – and our bent towards ‘peace-keeping’. You did mention the Bosnian War right!? Hmmmm – I feel for your fella having to be a witness to that!
    Cheers

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