086 - Ron Haviv

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By Ben Smith. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Ron Haviv is an Emmy nominated, award-winning photojournalist and co-founder of the photo agency VII, dedicated to documenting conflict and raising awareness about human rights issues around the globe.

In the last three decades, Ron has covered more than twenty-five conflicts and worked in over one hundred countries. He has published three critically acclaimed photo books. His first, Blood and Honey: A Balkan War Journal, was called “One of the best non-fiction books of the year,” by The Los Angeles Times and “A chilling but vastly important record of a people’s suffering,” by Newsweek. His other monographs are Afghanistan: The Road to Kabul, Haiti: 12 January 2010 and his latest book, The Lost Rolls.

Ron has produced an unflinching record of the injustices of war and his photography has had singular impact. His work in the Balkans, which spanned over a decade of conflict, was used as evidence to indict and convict war criminals at the international tribunal in The Hague and President George H. W. Bush cited his chilling photographs documenting paramilitary violence in Panama as one of the reasons for the 1989 American intervention.

His film work has appeared on PBS’s Need to Know and Frontline as well as NBC's Nightly News and ABC's World News Tonight. He has directed short films for ESPN, People Magazine, Doctors Without Borders, Asia Society and American Photography.

Ron has helped create multi-platform projects for numerous NGO's and various other organisations and his commercial clients include Ad Council, American Express, BAE, Canon USA, ESPN, IBM and Volkswagen.

In episode 086, Ron discusses, among other things:

  • Early mistakes
  • New opportunities for sharing work
  • The picture taken in Panama that kick-started his career
  • Being a human being first and a photographer second
  • Fear and the myth of the ‘adrenaline addicted’ war photographer
  • Anger at injustice
  • Biography of a Photograph - film
  • Recent ethical transgressions
  • The controversy over one of his photographs being used by an arms company to advertise bombs
  • The story behind his photograph of a dying Afghan commander (above)
  • The Lost Rolls project and the relationship between photography and memory

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Also, please sign this petition to support the release of Bangladeshi photojournalist Shahidul Alam and share his cause on social media using #FreeShahidulAlam

“I might and should be and am emotional while photographing. I cannot let the emotion overcome me at that point. The emotion overcomes me once the job is over; once I am back in a safe place, then I can break down and cry and process what I’ve just witnessed. But it is incredibly important to remain focussed while doing the job, while photographing and documenting. but at the same time I cannot be a robot. I mean it would be very easy to completely turn off all emotions, but my opinion is that once a photographer does that it comes across in the photography. So I have to feel something in order for it to come through the way I’m documenting the situation or for the viewer to feel something”

114 episodes