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Previous | Next :: Nelson Mandela First President of the New South Africa : Ladysmith : South Africa | November 27, 2010, 9:44 pm

Nelson Mandela First President of the New South Africa  : Ladysmith : South Africa
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I think you should definetly read this............

The Last Blast of The Bang Bang Club:

http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/Magazine/Features/article445339.ece ......... (I think pay wall requires you to pay a pound I think.......well worth it )

From last weeks Sunday Times Magazine but still on line............ I only just realized it had run......... I knew it was coming........... but was in the US and somehow missed it................

Here below is a little of the opening paragraphs........ a friend with the BBC said it made her cry................


ST Mag:

"Like many war photographers, João Silva knew the once lush, golden land of Helmand Province well. He also knew the risks it posed. Last month, at the age of 44, he stepped on a Taliban landmine on an assignment to Afghanistan with the American 101st Airborne Division, severing both his legs, one at the shin and the other at the knee.

In Johannesburg the tragedy involving the award-winning photojournalist made front-page news. Silva, born in Portugal, had been a founding member of South Africa’s notorious Bang-Bang Club, a bunch of madcap photographers who had gone about their business with an anarchic and brutal disregard for their own lives. In the parched deserts of today’s Helmand, Silva’s luck finally ran out.

His fellow club member Greg Marinovich said that the catastrophic injuries sustained by this best friend were an inevitability they had all expected from a life many would describe as soaked in blood. “I have been expecting the ‘João call’ for almost two decades. In truth, I expected to be looking at his coffin one day. We should be thankful he’s still with us, at least.” By an accident of timing, a film based on Silva’s and Marinovich’s own tale of their remarkable life in the Bang-Bang Club will be released early next year. It stars Ryan Phillippe as Marinovich and comes with an upbeat Hollywood ending, which now seems grotesquely inappropriate. The film narrates the story of Silva, Marinovich, and two other Bang-Bang Club photographers in their mid-twenties, Ken Oosterbroek and Kevin Carter, during the final years of apartheid.

The four men barely knew each other when they ventured, separately, from the security of Johannesburg’s pampered white suburbs into South Africa’s sprawling black townships.

Starting out in 1990, they crossed a barrier few whites would cross, even today, to photograph the years of violent conflict in the build-up to South Africa’s first democratic elections, and the inauguration of Nelson Mandela as the country’s first black president, in 1994............. "


Jezblog:

This is when I first knew them back in 1994 ........

Through my friend Jon Jones then a leading photojournalist with the Paris based Sygma Photo Agency now Director of Photography at the Sunday Times Magazine............ Jon had spent months in SA in the build up to the first Democratic Elections and was friends with all the Bang Bang Club guys......... from that and many previous trips.........

On that last day for the complete gang of 4 of the Bang Bang Club ......... other guys I was working with were rolling to wire (send their pics to London)......... so I had bailed so as not to leave the Townships ..........

I hooked up with the Bang Bang Club guys : Greg, Ken and Joao....... within an hour Ken was dead and Greg was fighting for survival with a hole in his chest....... Joao..... was not hit that day and Kevin Carter was off working elsewhere......... they were the two not injured that day...... within a month or so Kevin was also dead.......... Joao was still covering war 16 years later........ until disaster struck in Afghanistan last month.......... you should read it all........

http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/Magazine/Features/article445339.ece (I think pay wall requires you to pay a pound I think.......well worth it )

Then maybe you will feel moved to donate to Joao Silva fund to support him and his family........... http://joaosilva.photoshelter.com/page1 or by a print

Cheers Jez XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

PS......... This a good line from the article........... about the Bang-Bang club guys........ and their book....... and the up coming film made about those days of violence at the fall of apartheid....... but this line could be applied to pretty well all of photojournalism..... in describing the mix of motivation that drives photojournalists..............:

" The film, like the book, explores the Club’s complex motivations — opposition to the apartheid regime, personal ambition, machismo, addiction to excitement and the more prosaic business of making a living."

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