“The tremendous development of photojournalism has contributed practically nothing to the revelation of the truth about conditions in this world. On the contrary photography, in the hands of the bourgeoisie, has become a terrible weapon against the truth. The vast amount of pictured material that is being disgorged daily by the press and that seems to have the character of truth serves in reality only to obscure the facts. The camera is just as capable of lying as the typewriter”
– Bertolt Brecht,1931
Chris Arnade. Cynthia, from the “Faces of Addiction.”
Chris Arnade. An addict named Pepsi, in Hunts Point.
Robert Capa / Magnum photos
“Lowe is not afraid to turn the flashlight on his own profession. He told me how, in his doctoral thesis submitted last year, he argues that simply “witnessing” is morally distinct from “bearing witness”; the latter, he tells me, is an “active process of testimony” going beyond saying simply, “This is what I saw”. In bearing witness, photographers move past a “passive” presentation of the situation to what Lowe calls a “more accurate process of engagement with it”. A photographer bearing witness, Lowe says, is often providing a “testimony about – and very often on behalf of – someone who can’t provide that testimony”.”