Covering Conflict in the Age of the Eternal Present
September 16 – October 14, 2015
The challenges of photographing a conflict zone have existed since the inception of photojournalism, as has its promise as a tool to reveal injustices. The camera can take us places otherwise unseen, but today the challenge of access—getting into the difficult spaces that put at risk the photographer’s life or well-being—is complicated by the “battle for eyeballs.” Lost to History looks at the work of four photographers shedding light on stories that run the risk of being overshadowed or overlooked, whether by the inherent difficulty of covering them, or by the competition of a news cycle that thrives on sensation, at the expense of so many urgent stories.
The conflicts covered in this show involve war and its aftermath, environmental destruction, political persecution, and populations living in exile. For us, the idea of conflict is as expansive as it is tragic, which is why Lost to History highlights situations from war-torn Syria to the Peruvian Amazon, from Chiapas, Mexico to the Dhauladhar range in Himachal Pradesh, India.
In each case, we decided to focus on a single, in-depth project to demonstrate the level of commitment required for stories that are not merely flashes on our multiple screens, but real-world issues with long-term consequences, as is clearly demonstrated in the current refugee crisis afflicting Central Europe.
History may be written by the victors, as the saying goes, but concrete visual evidence in the form of photojournalism, of the type seen here, offers the promise that it be contested by people on the ground, witnessing what we cannot, making sure it is not lost to history.
– Keith Miller and Lauren Walsh