Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2004/04/15

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Subject: [Leica] Slides the cat has gone to kitty heaven
From: profmason at (John Mason)
Date: Thu Apr 15 12:52:13 2004

>"Wake up to the realities of the Governments and 
>robber barons of the countries where these children 
>reside and see how the "Leaders live compared to the 
>families of the bloated children!"

True enough, Ted.  But I feel a professional
responsibility to point out that few of these tyrants
and robber barons could have assumed power and
maintain it without the support of the West or,
formerly, the East.  In Africa since independence
those outside powers have largely been the US, France,
and the Soviet Union.

US military and financial aid and succor was a
significant factor behind the horrors of Doe of
Liberia, Mobutu of Zaire, Barre of Somalia, and the
apartheid regime in South Africa.  And, yes, one
should also talk about the French in the Central
African Republic or Rwanda and the Soviets in Angola
and Ethiopia.

To bring this back to photography...  One of my
complaints about the way that documentary photography
is often presented--Salgado's Migrations is an
example--is that images of suffering alone do not
provide enough information to allow us to understand
why suffering occurs.  These disasters are political,
not natural.  If we don't understand the roots of
suffering, we cannot act meaningfully to prevent it or
relieve it.


J. Mason
Charlottesville, Virginia
Cool snaps:

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