James Nachtwey

The third Dresden International Peace Prize was awarded on Feb. 11.   Recipient?  James Nachtwey, celebrated war/conflict photographer. Nachtwey was also the subject of a truly inspiring documentary by Christian Frei, War Photographer.

As Oscar-nominated director Wim Wenders said on presenting the prize to Nachtwey, “If a war photographer is awarded a Peace Prize, furthermore in a city once devastated by a war, then he must be a very special person and a truly extraordinary photographer.”

“War is a huge, infernal industry, the largest one on this planet. It seems presumptuous for one man to attempt to stand in the way of this machinery. Once war has broken out, everything spirals out of control almost immediately, turning even the armies and the soldiers who fight in it into helpless onlookers, victims of their own hubris. Who would dare then to oppose it and put it into perspective with mere… photographs. Who would seriously deploy cameras against tanks!”

“Actually, the act of photographing is a very lonely job. You are mostly left to your own devices, especially when war is raging around you or hunger and death are haunting the land. But these photographs here all have one thing in common, an “attitude”, a point of view, the photographer’s awareness – whatever we call it – of standing where he is for others of seeing on behalf of others, of exposing himself, and of giving testimony, for others.”

Full remarks are here.



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