Words About Yarka
It seems unlikely
that the picture story will ever occupy the place it did when Eugene Smith
and like-minded photographers communicated the beauty and terror of the
world to waiting eyes unsullied by television's 30 second visual bytes
of "life." But there are still photographers who wake up every morning
looking for a story to tell, in love with both content and the process
of capturing it on film.
is a young woman who wishes she were older. Not old old, but she would
like to have been shooting when photojournalism was new and more appreciated.
Perhaps she was born 30 years too late, for it seems the place for
the concerned photographer has evolved into a game of musical chairs, or
more correctly, musical media. Where we once had Life and the other
great picture magazines, today we have a few excellent newspapers, some
news magazines still fighting the good fight and a group of good, but elitist
and expensive coffee table periodicals. As in musical chairs, every round
seems to reduce the number of places one's work can be appreciated or even
published in a medium everyone can afford.
So what good
are moving stories if they can't be shared? Not very, which is why many
photojournalists have gravitated to the Web, which offers them the opportunity
to make the work of their hearts, eyes and minds visible to more people
than all the magazines put together. While there is the risk that an embarrassment
of riches will make it hard to find those special pages among the tens
of millions served every day, from all over the world, I don't think that
will be the case with Yarka. After all, you're here, aren't you?
As a photographer
myself, I understand the passion with which this work was undertaken.
It's the passion of someone who cares, and can make you care too.
So, if you are moved by the sick but plucky little girl in a Slovak hospital,
or the elderly man who thought he might be dead, or the street woman offering
the only thing she had to share, I hope you will tell a few friends
who might also appreciate these images.
ago, Weegee the Great said "Never rob a man of his song." I think
he would be proud of a young woman who sees dignity and great humanity
I know I am.
Poem For Yarka