Nachtwey's TED wish

By Martin Joergensen | September 30, 2008 6:17 PM | Permalink


I have always been fascinated by the work of war photographer James Nachtwey. I have been captured by Nachtwey's graphical and unpleasant yet stunningly beautiful photos ever since I saw a documentary about him shooting amongst others a father in Indonesia, who had not only lost an arm and a leg in a railway accident, but also lived on a piece of cardboard literally between two railway tracks with his family.

One of Nachtwey's pictures of this man is seen here.

In a TED talk from March 2007 Nachtwey returns to this man and tells that he has since moved to a small house, paid by contributions sparked by Nachtwey's pictures. The TED talk was held in connection with Nachtwey being granted a TED Prize - a prize given by the organization behind the TED talks. With the prize follows a wish, and Nachtwey wished to tell a story, most likely in photos, a story which he meant needed to be told.

His wish was "I'm working on a story that the world needs to know about. I wish for you to help me break it in a way that provides spectacular proof of the power of news photography in the digital age." I'm helping in my very humble way by bringing his message on. Nachtwey will break his story on October 3rd.

TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design and if you haven't seen one or more TED talks already, you are in for a big treat. Start with Nachtwey, but be prepared for grueling pictures, but also compassion, dignity and humanity.
Other photo related TED talks are by the photo director for National Geographic, David Griffin, talking about the power of photography not to mention Blaise Aguera y Arcas' original and still astonishing Photosynth demo.