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Previous | Next :: Jabalia Palestinian Refugee Camp Stern Magazine Double Page Spread : Gaza | September 30, 2012, 5:11 pm

Jabalia Palestinian Refugee Camp Stern Magazine Double Page Spread : Gaza
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I was just reading the Economist...... 'The scummy end of the news business ............' is how the Economist referred to paparazzi photographers .......... I guess its official then ......... it's technically correct to always refer to pap guys as scum ........... I am always swimming against the tide with all sorts of things.... this included ....... Top celebrities are saying it, politicos are saying it, leading church men are saying it, even some leading photographers sometimes say it , now I read even the totally straight-down-the-line news magazine 'The Economist' is saying it ... just as a matter of course...... as if this is a fact beyond question not a judgmental assertion ........

And yet, I still feel it is a peculiar situation where say divorce lawyers or debt collectors, peddlers of sub-prime mortgages .... even bankers ........ can be referred to without them always needing to be preceded by descriptive words like ......... "the scum"....... Its weird really ........ I'm not a Pap......... I've literally never shot a picture of a celebrity in the street ........ And yet I am a photographer and a photojournalist ......... I am intrigued by what's going on here ? It really is a psychosis about paps ....... Surely other professions like traffic wardens or cops and realtors (estate agents) are having a greater impact on peoples lives ......... and most people if they were honest would rather be a pap than say an abattoir worker............ and yet they don't really have a psychosis about abattoir workers ....... But they have a weird learned psychosis about the profession of the paparazzo ...........

It is learned because clearly by definition the paps do not ever affect the lives of the ordinary 99% of the population ...... So why have they learned to hate Paps but not 'wealth management advisors' or other people like 'butler's or' servants' or the guys maintaining their yachts......... non of these people including paps ever show up in the lives of ordinary people......... so they have no thoughts about them...... well other than the paps of course .... It is something to do with the learned idea that paps are abusing the celebrities ....... that it is always abusive to make pictures of people in the street .......

The only paps I ever knew were often paid by the celebs to be sure they were papped ...... that way that particular celebrity picture would get in specified magazines and papers ........ celebs want the publicity........ not always...... not all the time........ but generally they want the coverage...... The relationship between the celebs and the paps is not quite as straight forward as people might think ........ it is symbiotic..... even Princess Diana would sometimes ring her favorite paps and tell them were she was going to be ...........

And yet there is a pretty all pervading psychosis that these photos are always abuse and the photographers always scummy ....... By the time it is being pushed from the pulpit........ from broadcast media and even from serious news magazines .......... and of course all the time by the average taxi driver and barmen ........ Basically most people have this shared psychosis ............. Many literally would have no other profession that they would always be completely comfortable to attach the judgmental label 'scum' to ............ and sadly the whole 'photography is abuse' thing that grows from exaggerating and hating the roll of the paparazzo is constantly reinforced........ through ongoing false outrage. ..... the label of abuse is spreading into other areas of photography ......... until these days 'photography is abuse' is the received wisdom that the population holds as true without consideration .......... Sadly I think it is growing to be a full to be a full on moral panic....... a psychosis about photography in general................ I call it photo derangement syndrome :-(

Cheers Jez XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

PS........... The very opposite of the world of celebrity....... the life of Palestinian refugees struggling under occupation ........... The picture above I shot in Jabalia Refugee Camp in Gaza in 1987 the year I left college? .......... I met D who runs the picture operations for Stern in London at the Ian Parry award the other night......... it has been a very long time since I actually met her........... I have spoken on the phone and they have published material over the years ........ but we were speculating that it might be all the way back at the beginning of the first Palestinian Uprising that I actually met with her last ............. and they published this spread above.......... Cheers Jez XXXXXXXXXX

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