“I never thought of myself as doing anything other than telling stories,” said Erich Lessing. “The camera became the medium through which I did that, but I don’t carry a camera everywhere I go. To me, it is simply the means to a very specific end. I observe the world through my eyes and not through the viewfinder of a camera. I don’t interpret, nor do I adjust anything in the dark room. I am a realistic photographer.”
They’re modest words from a man who created iconic images of the 20th century, and who was a member of Magnum Photos for well over half a century. His photographs of the Hungarian revolution in 1956 were seen around the world, as was his shot of the presentation of the Austrian State Treaty on the balcony of the Belvedere palace in front of a cheering crowd in 1955.
On 13 February, Çağdaş Erdoğan will stand trial in Istanbul accused of membership and support of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a separatist group classified as a terrorist organisation by the Turkish government. Erdoğan is of Kurdish descent, grew up in the region and, as an adult, embedded with affiliates of the PKK during the complex, multifactional conflict that has crossed the borders of Syria, Iraq and Turkey. But he did so, he claims, purely as a photojournalist intent on documenting an unseen conflict for the world’s media and without any alliance with or allegiance to any organisation. His only allegiance was to photography.
The curator, writer, and creative consultant picks out her top five of 2017 – including Jason Fulford’s Fake Newsroom, a contemporary spin on Larry Sultan and Mike Mandel’s 1983 performance
Associated Press photographer Anja Niedringhaus and reporter Kathy Gannon were in Khost in eastern Afghanistan covering the run-up to the presidential elections when an Afghan policeman approached their vehicle at a security checkpoint. “[He] yelled ‘Allahu Akbar’ — God is Great — and opened fire on them in the back seat with his AK-47,” the Associated Press reports. “He then surrendered to the other police and was arrested.” Gannon survived the attack but was wounded twice and is now being treated in a local hospital. In a statement to his staff, Gary Pruitt, president and CEO of AP, said: “It is with grief and great sadness that I let you know that photographer Anja Niedringhaus has been killed while working in Afghanistan […] Those of you who worked with Anja know what a life force she was: spirited, intrepid and fearless, with a raucous laugh that we will always remember.” AP’s vice president and director of photography Santiago Lyon, who has known and worked with Anja for 22 years, adds: “Anja was one of the most …