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Old Dec 2, 2006, 7:29 AM   #11
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Hold-on! The photographer is "reporting" what they're seeing thru the camera lens. Saving the world is NOT the photographers' responsibility.

I take it you do not read the papers or watch the news as you would be associating with criminals. I hope after having seen that you have volunteered your time to help those children in need.

I also think what the photographer did was very Socialy Responsible, their work I am sure will open so many eyes.

Thanks Roy for posting the venture by that photographer must have been excrusiating and probably had much intestinal fortitude.
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Old Dec 2, 2006, 10:05 AM   #12
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Thanks Roy for posting.

I say Brenda Kennally is using her camera in the best of ways. She makes a clear statement. It's up then to the US citizens to decide if the situation ought to change. You've got democracy, you've got the freedom to express and to organize. You've got the vote. Use them!

Kjell
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Old Dec 5, 2006, 8:22 PM   #13
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robar wrote:
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Basement Shows wrote:
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Personally, I find it criminal that someone would sit by passively and take pictures of a pregnent woman getting high, or kids playing with drugs. I get that it happens, with or without the photographer there, and what one adult does in the privacy of their own home is ther own business, but that goes out the window when there are kids involved.

If their own parents won't do right by them, and the photographer (who I will assume knows this is wrong) won't do right by them, who will?
i agree with you that it's a cultural problem.. maybe the images will help others--help........
To be clear, I don't think drugs's a cultural problem. Rich black & white kids do drugs. Poor black & white kids do drugs. Culture has nothing to do with it.

If I see a 3 year old playing with needles or guns or whatever, I'm gonna report that parent and get the kid out of that environment. As for the "reporter" angle.....you can help & report.
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Old Dec 5, 2006, 9:54 PM   #14
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I believe it is a big city cultural issue, and that is why I no longer live in Milwaukee or Minneapolis, but in a small town in Northern Wisconsin where my children grew up without the massive drug and crime problems shown in these photos.

Are there drugs in our small town, yes, but to such a small extent (other than alcohol) that it reminds me of the town I grew up in when I was in High School many years ago. We have guns (almost everyone does), but no one ever gets shot, other than a hunting accident, because in our small town culture, we don't shoot people.

The photos are sad, very sad, but even more so that our society allows this to happen.

Tom
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Old Dec 6, 2006, 8:55 AM   #15
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ennacac wrote:
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I believe it is a big city cultural issue, and that is why I no longer live in Milwaukee or Minneapolis, but in a small town in Northern Wisconsin where my children grew up without the massive drug and crime problems shown in these photos.

Are there drugs in our small town, yes, but to such a small extent (other than alcohol) that it reminds me of the town I grew up in when I was in High School many years ago. We have guns (almost everyone does), but no one ever gets shot, other than a hunting accident, because in our small town culture, we don't shoot people.

The photos are sad, very sad, but even more so that our society allows this to happen.

Tom
I live in a town of about 10000 people and there are drug problems (as a high school teacher that becomes obvious). The difference is that there is not a "drug culture" as can be found in large cities. Here there are small groups of drug users who do tend to seek each other out but their numbers are small. The inequities inherent in all societies lead to the marginalization of groups such as these. This results in a sense of entrapment, people no longer see a way out and this is the result.

My initial comment was just "disturbing" because it is. I don't believe the photographer has the responsibility of changing the world, if so I might as well put my camera away. Just by drawing attention to this the photographer has helped people recognize the issue and some may even be stirred to action, things may improve. I am only offended when I see evidence that the photographer has been callously exploiting the people they are photographing, and I do not see that here.


Ira
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Old Dec 6, 2006, 9:19 AM   #16
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Basement Shows wrote:
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Personally, I find it criminal that someone would sit by passively and take pictures of a pregnent woman getting high, or kids playing with drugs. I get that it happens, with or without the photographer there, and what one adult does in the privacy of their own home is ther own business, but that goes out the window when there are kids involved.

If their own parents won't do right by them, and the photographer (who I will assume knows this is wrong) won't do right by them, who will?
I tend to disagree with you even when you do have a valid point.

This is a true story abouta picture of an execution in Iran which won the Pulitzer Prize 28 yrs ago for an anonymous photographer - the firs tin Pulitzer prize

http://online.wsj.com/public/article...html?mod=blogs

Can you tell the photographer to stop what goes on even when it is not right?

The example I gave is an extreme extreme story though. But the analogy is there

Good read

Daniel

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Old Dec 6, 2006, 4:57 PM   #17
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You know, this board, and photography in general,is supposed to bemy escape from the real world, I never expected a debate on ethics and other such serious issues. I am sure there is a code of professional ethics for photographers, much as there is for any other profession. Whatever these professional ethics are, how do they apply to the hobby photographer (is there such thing as hobby ethics)? I understand that a photojournalist is there to observe and record, not to create news. And legally, in the United States at least, laws generally proscribe action, not prescribe it. In Florida there are certain occupations that are required to report suspected child abuse, doctors, nurses, teachers, day care workers, and law enforcement; most people are not required to do so. So legally, I would also agree that the photographer had no responsibility to intervene on behalf of the children.

On the flip side, what is our responsibility as human beings? A couple of people here know I work in law enforcement,most of my sixteen yearsthus far werespent as a detective. In a number of classes Ihave taken,I watched video tapes of autoerotic fetishists accidently hanging themselves to death. Now, these video cameras were set up by the victims themselves and were operating unmanned. But, if there had been a photographer actually operating that camera, would he have had a responsibility to intervene? The video tapes did offer a great deal of educational content in regard to the physiological reactions the body goes through as it enters asphyxia and helped teach me quite a bit about crime scene interpretation at a hanging death. If broadcast, the video might even save the lives of many others participating in or contemplating participation in autoerotica aphyxiation. Could all of this value, though, excuse the man operating the camera of his human responsibility to help another?

I do not pretend to know all of the answers. Daniel's article is an excellent one and a story I had not previously heard. I do not know what the mental reaction of the photographer was, to read the article he did not seem to have a strong emotional feeling that what was happening was "wrong" and may well have recorded the events as "justice." In any case, what he could do against a squad of armed men was quite limited.

I have viewed the photographs several times now, if art is supposed to generate an emotional reaction, then this must be very good art indeed. I am not at all sure, though, what my emotion is and I am not even completely sure what the photographer's message is. I do not think that feeling a sense of hopelessness is the same thing as being in a hopeless situation and I do not believe that either condition relieves anyone of responsibility for their own actions. But I would also agree with the voice in the background on one of the montages, that the criminal justice system is not capable of "solving" drug abuse. But as a parent, I would give up ANYTHING, to include my own life, to protect the life and welfare of the children I love. From what I have seen, a junkie has only one love and I have little sympathy for a parent who does not put the welfare of their own child first.

Reading over this I can't even find my own central theme. I was not satisfied with my original post on this topic and I don't know that I can be any more satisfied with this one. I am a reformed former idealist, but my heart still bleeds for kids. If I had been behind the camera, watching a mother take a hit off a bloop pipe while holding her baby, I would not have left without ensuring that child was somewhere safe. That would be my answer, and I respect the right of others to disagree on this thorny issue.

So, anyone seen any good bugs lately?

Tim




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Old Dec 6, 2006, 5:08 PM   #18
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Don't get me wrong, I get that the photographer is trying to paint a very ugly picture of life in that neighborhood....and I'm not saying that documenting it is bad or wrong. But maybe rather than taking a picture of a very small child sitting on the drug dealer's lap, playing with a bag of crack (or whatever), maybe you stand up at that point nad say enough. Pick the kid up and take him out of the room.

The parents aren't doing right by the kid, and you know he has no clue that what he's doing is wrong.....and mom sure isn't going to teach him that. So if you are the only one in the room with an IQ over 4, then it falls to you to protect that kid. End of story.

If you witness a crime, you need to report it. Turning in that mother gives that kid at least a shot of growing up clean, and gives mom some time away from the kid to straighten her own life up. I'm not saying that either will actually happen in the end, but at least they have a chance and that is better than the chance they have if they go on living like this.

Anyway, I don't want this to digress into a big discussion on the morals of photography so I'll shut up now.....
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Old Dec 6, 2006, 5:12 PM   #19
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Basement Shows wrote:
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Pick the kid up and take him out of the room.
The world would have a lot less problems if it were that simple...unfortunately, it isn't.

I get what you're trying to say, and you're absolutely right, only it isn't that simple to fix problems like that.
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Old Dec 7, 2006, 5:35 AM   #20
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Basement Shows, please don't shut-up. This is a very good discussion and it is about photography if not the technicalities or technology behind it.

Did the photographer intervene physically? Don't know.
Did they report it to the authorities? I think so.
Did they do something about it? Absolutely.
Could thesocial or law enforcement agencies have done anything about it? Probably not.

But the resulting work certainly is a "Social statement" of our day and age. Very few of us, and these days this includes me, have ever done anything to improve the well being of not only The Child but others around us. A buck or two, a sawbuck or a fin over the period of a year doesn't count.

Many photojournalist DO physically intervene we just don't see it.
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