Taller de fotoperiodismo en Mendoza (scroll down for the english version)

Taller Mendoza 03

Taller fotoperiodismo 01

Taller fotoperiodismo 02

Por primera vez empezaré en español. Por primera vez en mi vida profesional encontré un reconocimiento a mis esfuerzos en mi país. Por primera vez tuve el placer de compartir lo que sé sobre mi oficio con gente de diversos lugares y profesiones. Por primera vez, mis labios temblaron de emoción cuando una participante me miró a los ojos y me dio las gracias. Me sentí útil y pude sospechar que mi pasión sobrevoló a un auditorio de 18 personas, una pequeña cantidad (igual nuestro tope eran 20), un gran paso. Mi esperanza era mostrarles una dirección, un rumbo, en un época y lugar donde nuestra profesión no está siendo respetada por los medios nacionales, excepto ocasionales destellos. En el mundo se muestra como principal enemigo del fotoperiodismo a las nuevas tecnologías. Pero el peor antagonista es la mentira. El brillo de la belleza y el perfecto diseño para contar tonterías y no lo que según Cornell Capa, hermano del mítico Robert, concebía como nuestro principal propósito. Contar lo que hay que corregir, contar las cosas por las que vale la pena vivir. La objetividad no existe pero es un fin deseable. Si nos ponemos la camiseta de algo terminamos haciendo propaganda, no periodismo. Amo este oficio. Pero lamentablemente no lo veo reflejado en los medios. Parece como si todo fuera una carrera de lobbistas, parece como si uno debiera ponerse una identificación que muestre a qué sector pertenece. Todos sabemos cuando cometemos un error, existe una consciencia inherente al ser humano. Una ética contraria a cuidar cada uno su propio lugar con el menor esfuerzo. Yo sueño con un sistema de información nuevo, con un compromiso mayor a nuestro deber, donde se publiquen largos ensayos sobre un tema que muestre los diferentes costados de la realidad. Ahora hay cámaras en todos lados y la foto noticia pasó a ser patrimonio de aquél que está en el lugar indicado en el momento indicado. Se están desperdiciando recursos humanos para notas obvias y no hay una costumbre en Argentina por motivar los trabajos de largo aliento. Estamos editados por personas que están lejos de la realidad con aire climatizado sin mover el culo a la calle. Eugene Richards lo dijo, para ser fotoperiodista tu culo tiene que estar en la calle. La calle no miente. Te confunde, te apabulla, te da miedo. Pero no hay otra forma. En una era plagada de imágenes nuestro trabajo debería ser importante, planificado, certero. No una mera ilustración de las palabras. Para eso hacen falta decisiones empresariales y a la par decisiones personales para encarar proyectos propios que también pueden publicarse personalmente gracias a los medios electrónicos. El principal problema está en la financiación, por eso es importante que los medios tradicionales no miren hacia otro lado.
Hay mucha gente leyendo noticias en internet. Tenemos que estar atentos a las fuentes de información y su confiabilidad. Y en lo personal rescato el valor del contenido sobre la forma, digan lo que digan los que manejan los medios. Obviamente la belleza es deseable pero no se puede forzar una cobertura con maquillajes que no son reales. Sospecho, que este taller que hicimos sobre fotoperiodismo, no será el último. Agradezco infinitamente a German Gassull, dueño de la galería Cosset, quien de la nada me rescató, en medio de mis oscuras funciones para un medio, para mostrar y enseñar lo que vale la pena. Para motivar. Gracias a todos los que hicieron eso posible. Un abrazo infinito.
pta: Cometí un error, no planeé una posible foto de apertura para este post. Cuando Germán pidió hacer una fotos algunos ya se habían despedido. Por suerte el hizo algunas durante la clase.

Photojournalism workshop at Mendoza

For the first time I will begin in Spanish. For the first time in my professional life I found recognition of my efforts in my own country. For the first time I had the pleasure to share what I know about my job with people from different places and occupations. For the first time my lips shook with emotion when a participant looked in my eyes and told me “thank you”. I felt useful and could suspect that my passion flew over an auditorium of 18 participants, a small quantity (equally our goal was 20), a big step. My hope was to show a direction, a rhumb in a time and place where our profession is not respected by the national media, except occasionally sparkles. All around the world the new technologies are shown as the first enemy of photojournalism. But the worst antagonist is the lie. The brightness of the beauty and the perfect design to tell bullshit and not what Cornell Capa, brother of the mythic Robert, conceived as our main function. To tell what we need to correct, to tell the things for which it is worth living. The objectivity [True, absolute objectivity] doesn’t exist but is a desirable end. If we put the perspective of only one side we end making propaganda, not journalism. I love this duty. But lamentably I don’t see it represented in the media. It appears like all were the result of lobbyists, it appears like we all need to have an identification that shows to what sector we belong. Everybody knows when we make a mistake, there is an inherent conscience in all humans. An ethic contrary to each one taking care of his own place. I dream of a new system of information, of a great respect to our duty, where long essays are published about a topics that show the different sides of the reality. Now there are cameras in all places and the news photo became the patrimony of those who are in the right place in the right moment. They are wasting human resources for obvious assignments and there is not a custom in Argentina to encourage long terms works. We are edited by people that are far in another reality with conditioned air without moving their asses to the streets. Eugene Richards said: to be a photojournalist your ass needs to be in the streets. The streets don’t lie. It confuses you, overwhelms you. It scares you. But there is not no other way. In an age full of images our job would be important, planned, accurate. Not a mere illustration of words. For that business decisions are needed and the side personal decisions to do our own projects that could be published too thanks to the new electronic media. But the principal problem is in the financing part, for that reason it is important that traditional media do not look the other way.
There are a lot of people reading news on the Internet. We need to be aware of the sources of information and its trustworthiness. My personal view is to rescue the content over the form, no matter what the media managers say. Obviously beauty is desirable but we can´t force a coverage with make ups that are not real. I suspect that this workshop we did will be not the last. I give my infinite thanks to German Gassull, owner of the Cosset Gallery, who from nothing rescued me from my dark duties for a media to show and teach what is worth. To motivate. Thanks to all that made that possible. An infinite hug.
Postscript: I made a mistake, I hadn’t planned a possible opening photo for this post. When Germán asked me to do a group shot some people were gone. By chance he took some during the class.

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~ by hernanzenteno on September 12, 2014.

4 Responses to “Taller de fotoperiodismo en Mendoza (scroll down for the english version)”

  1. As you say, Hernan, ” If we put the perspective of only one side we end making propaganda, not journalism. ”
    Here is a link to a NY Times essay that is relevant to the situation:
    http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/09/18/eddie-adams-ten-years-on-and-war-will-never-be-the-same/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0

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    • (traducción en español abajo) Many thanks Barry. I share here my thoughts about that article, it was added to the comments section of Lens.
      The main problem I see is the comparison with old methods to deliver and publish the images and always the articles are centered in first world mainstream media, not consider underdeveloped countries media. In the third world propaganda or lobbing are over journalism most of the times. We live an ethical crisis. What happened too is that suddenly everybody have a camera an a way to expose the image to the view of a big number of audience. Young people read news thru Facebook in their phones and see this images sometimes inclusive as some kind of amusement and several of them don´t pay attention to the source of the information. We need to educate the new generations to be more critics to this kind of platforms. At the same time the new technologies are too one of the big tools for debate when something is put in doubt about the veracity of what was published. More than ever the situation is a chaotic tsunami of information and lack of editing. More, at first the reaction of some main media was to refresh soon the news at whatever price without deep investigation or at the point that there were published news without check the sources. First rule in journalism. I remember a fake campaign supporting the riots in Brazil by some very well known artists, all was a fake stage. There are not a simple solution to cover wars as long time ago. The humanity has changed and whose involved in wars know that they can do they own propaganda and shot or use the journalist as propaganda too.

      Gracias Barry. Comparto mi opinión que agregué en la sección comentarios del blog Lens.
      El principal problema que veo es la comparación con los viejos métodos para entregar y publicar las imágenes y siempre los artículos están centrados en los medios del primer mundo. No consideran los países en desarrollo. En los medios del tercer mundo la propaganda o el hacer lobby están sobre el periodismo la mayoría de las veces. Vivimos una crisis ética. Lo que pasó también es que de repente todo el mundo tiene una cámara y una forma de exponer la imagen a la vista de un gran número de la audiencia. La gente joven lee las noticias a través de Facebook en sus teléfonos y ven esas imágenes a veces incluso como un entretenimiento y varias no ponen atención a la fuente de la información. Necesitamos educar a las nuevas generaciones para ser más críticos a esta clase de plataformas. Al mismo tiempo las nuevas tecnologías son también una de las grandes herramientas para el debate cuando algo es puesto en duda en cuanto a su veracidad. Mas que nunca la situación es un caótico tsunami de información y la falta de edición. Más, la primera reacción de algunos principales medios fue renovar rápidamente las noticias a cualquier precio sin profundas investigaciones, al punto que fueron publicadas noticias sin chequear las fuentes. Primera regla del periodismo. Recuerdo una campaña falsa apoyando los disturbios en Brasil por algunos artistas famosos. Todo era falso. No hay una solución simple a la cobertura de guerras como tiempo atrás. La humanidad ha cambiado y aquellos implicados en las guerras saben que pueden hacer su propia propaganda y disparar o usar a los periodistas como propaganda también.

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  2. I think the ethical crisis involves both developed and underdeveloped countries as well, it just impacts in different ways. Yet, I agree that down here in Argentina at least media is sort of a propaganda outlet for political or economic lobbies. Add the fact, and correct me, Hernán, if I’m wrong, that editors doesn’t seem to be paying too much atention to the quality of the image as long as it provides them with the message they want to send, and since most of the times the photographer isn’t quite happy with the role they play, we’re ending with low quality images in the media more often than we’d like.
    Now add to that the fact that, as you well say, an enormous amount of people get the news through highly manipulable outlets as Facebook or Twitter and are shared at the speed of light without checking even the most ridiculous facts (I ran recall a while back a picture of a “mass children killing in Syria”. I saw the picture and it looked like a scanned slide to me. A quick Google image search returned me it was from an earthquake in Armenia in 1983, and it had been shared hundreds of times without question!).
    So, to me, the question now is, how can we make images that impact in a market so saturated with images that are designed to impact and be forgotten in a couple of minutes? And then, how can we make this images public out of the traditional outlets? I can see why photo collectives are getting so popular… it makes easier to fund shows, projections and books, but then, who sees them?
    Having said all this, I find it incredibly inspiring to live in such a moment of crisis, we’re witnessing changes we wouldn’t have dreamed 20 years ago, and are forced out of our comfort zone. I think I’m a patological optimist 🙂

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    • This is one of the challenges of our profession now. How to get money doing our job and how to show our work, that one that is not show in the mainstream. The financial part is the difficult part. We have the technology necessary to develop new ways of show the work but this couldn’t be free.

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