Is There Anybody There? : Penn Station NYC

Is There Anybody There? : Penn Station NYC

small_NYCsubway_phoneOffH29[ 27 ]

  • See here:

    idionaroand @ January 8, 2009, 3:33 am

  • J’adore cette image, le monde urbain (voire sous-urbain) dans toute sa grandeur … la composition est pile poil, plein de détails dans le fond, et le bougé du type au second plan. Je suis fan

    ben @ November 5, 2006, 2:10 am

  • I Like it. Good shot

    Pierre-Yves @ November 5, 2006, 7:27 am

  • OK I’ll try not to set everyone off again but Im gonna draw your attention to more amazing photojournalism by Joao Silva for the New York Times presented with another telling article by C.J Chivers. The front cover image shows a medic attending to Sgt. Jesse E leach hit by a sniper in the Iraqi town of Karma. On page A7 another sequence of 4 images show him initially falling after being struck, then being dragged to safety by his commander, then receiving battlefield first aid then again lifted to safety by his comrades. Its an amazing sequence demonstrating the danger of a new type of foe for US forces in Iraq. Cheers Jez XX

    jez @ November 5, 2006, 11:28 am

  • awesome – great – love it ;o)

    Saxi @ November 5, 2006, 12:43 pm

  • In fact the medic is Jesse E Leach and the wounded soldier is Lance Cpl. Juan Valdez-Castillo. Interesting debates going on here. Nice pictures and interesting debates. Makes an interesting blog, me thinks! The photo-spread in the NY Times is a powerful and classic (and in someways clichéd) example of war photojournalism. Even so, it follows a greater agenda, perfectly understood by the NY Times, showing as it does the human story and cost from the side of the occupying forces. In that sense this smaller picture, powerful and emotional though it is, encased in the power and gloss of the New York Times, clouds the meaning of the bigger picture: that the war is unjust, that it was instigated on false pretenses (they knew for certain there were no weapons of mass destruction). Oil, of course, and the necessary access to it, was a much greater motivating factor for invasion (liberation?) than the toppling of an evil despot for humanitarian and democratic reasons. This seems to me obvious. Just my 2 cents’ worth.

    Dr Ray Thompson @ November 5, 2006, 4:26 pm

  • Sorry; you are indeed correct, I gave you the name of the Sergeant not the wounded man. You are absolutely correct the wounded man is called Lance Cpl. Juan Valdez-Castillo, I of course, thank him for his service and wish him luck and a speedy recovery. cheers Jez XX

    jez @ November 5, 2006, 8:54 pm

  • Sometimes the debate is devoid of the reality……Joao’s pictures bring reality…….. an emotional handle to help grasp reality……….. to call his work ‘cliched’ is to put yourself in the role of art buyer in a gallery in the Meat packing district of NYC “Oh this is so last year darling!’……… e r…….its just so highly inappropriate as a response…….thats not really something you can say about photojournalism……..photojournalism is a tradition that traces its roots back through practitioners like Cappa, W. Eugene. Smith, Larry Burrows, Don McCullin on through to the Jon Jones, Ron Haviv’s and Joao Silva’s of today. Their work follows a particular format that evolves and has room for stylistic movements and different interpretation but is primarily about describing through photography human experience in situations of greatest import at the time……. the images in the NY times today are inherently of our time and about our time. Joao’s work gives you a deeply moving insight into the life of Marines operating in Iraq. Its a true story. It follows the self imposed restrictions of the most ethical photojournalists at the top level and is presented in a format that we understand and can read but it cannot be described with a shred of appropriateness or decorum as…’cliched’…… People like Joao are creating the lasting memory/ images that will form in the popular mind. They are informing us of the news we want to hear and the news that we don’t It literally is “the first draught of history” He with others is creating and illustrating what will be the western worlds collective memory and knowledge of this conflict. Its no white wash. He is a brave and skilled journalist taking enormous personal risk to bring you this powerful and telling story any pretense otherwise is just unworthy. Er……this piece of journalism does not address the cause of the war but is completely valid in covering the lives of US Marines on their mission in Iraq. For my 2 cents worth….. sure oil plays the primary role in all global calculations……but that doesn’t mean that the Republic of Fear under Saddam deserved the support of liberal people. After all leaders of the Greens in Germany ended up supporting US/NATO deployment into Bosnia and Kosova basically to address the threat to the ordinary people by fascists. Hundreds of thousands have been dug from the mass graves of Saddam’s Iraq this regime did slaughter its own people, threaten its neighbors and had run secret weapons programs. It was a vile regime. The charge that it was “a war for oil” which you don’t hear so much anymore because clearly this has not been in the economic interests of America but was a very successful accusation at first; one that really helped to mobilize the worldwide opposition and the internal insurgency. The shame of it is that without the approval of the outside world even after the initial war was won relatively bloodlessly the attempts to build a democracy were undermined and terrible forces of fundamentalism were given legitimacy by this continued western opposition. This western generated lead in the opposition really helped the insurgency to gain momentum…… its Osama bin Laden that quotes Michael Moore not only the other way round. Of course huge errors in the occupation have been made along the way. I had rather hoped a decent regime might emerge from all this but this is looking unlikely……. again from my experience of dealing with US forces, individual soldiers certainly deserve respect and are motivated to protect the population from violence and repression but that may be well beyond them now. Cheers Jez

    jez @ November 5, 2006, 11:41 pm

  • “…again from my experience of dealing with US forces, individual soldiers certainly deserve respect and are motivated to protect the population from violence and repression.” Strange, but as a photographer you seem to have forgotten the images of prisoner abuse by “individual soldiers” from Abu Ghraib prison. Those images rather contradict your validation of the presence of “protectionist” US troops in a foreign country and run counter to a great many of the professional photojournalistic representations of the “war on terror”. They showed something very “real” and dirty indeed. The racism and brutality of an occupying force (remember the French in Algeria?). With regards to the bigger picture, if it’s not about oil, or strategic manouvering in the Middle East (centre of the world’s main oil supply) then what is it, for god’s sake? Only an apologist for US + British imperialism would suggest that the opposition in the west to this illegal war has motivated and encouraged the insurgency and given fundamentalism legitimacy. Surely the presence of an occupying force (the US and Britain of all countries – considering their history in the region!) would do that (plus a few pictures from Abu Ghraib, of course). Such an argument borders on racism, as if the powder keg of tribal and sectarian forces suppressed by Saddam (who was armed to the teeth + enabled to suppress his own people for years by the US + British governments) were not capable of their own revolutionary uprisings and resistance and needed the promptings of western anti war campaigners! War photojournalism has its place and history, like you say (especially as records of histories), but representations and meaning are all about context and open to huge debate. Many photojournalists are really pawns in a huge global media game. The tragic images in the NY Times are about a certain kind of reality, for sure. But only that: a certain kind of reality.

    Judy Conway @ November 6, 2006, 1:55 am

  • i don’t know if it’s still relevant, but i love the shot above. Cool perspective and angle and it made me smile. Cheers 🙂

    Kris [PiXistenZ] @ November 6, 2006, 8:01 am

  • This is an interesting video blog site from Iraq: Some interesting things in their archive section.

    John Hampton @ November 6, 2006, 11:28 am

  • I am not arguing that oil played no role in US thinking. Clearly it is hugely important and impacts on all economic and global geopolitics. It played a massive role in US thought process and action. You are right……context and perception are very important….. not only as is pointed out above in media decisions on stories…… a mission to ‘occupy and suppress’ is perceived very differently from a mission to ‘liberate and support’……. obviously the the worlds perception of the mission to overthrow of Saddam Hussein was vitally important to the perception inside Iraq and as people inside Iraq were not able to express any political thought process until after Saddam was removed the external context was therefore highly relevant. The photos from Abu Ghraib like all the protests did much to damage the perception of the nature of the occupation. Those disgusting pictures do not describe the conduct of the hugely overwhelming majority of American service people in Iraq. The people responsible have been prosecuted for that aberration. Other individuals who commit unjustified and illegal acts also face prosecution. These people do not personify the nature of the US military in Iraq. In my experience the majority of service people are repulsed by this and attempts by ‘anti-war’ types to characterize the entire occupation like this. Maybe because the USA is the worlds largest user of world resources Americans largely invented environmentalism and therefore weirdly to some extent gave the world green politics. Maybe because the USA is the worlds only current super power it has also developed its most highly vocal and damaging critics… internally. Its a weird factor of American hegemony that the leading anti-Americans are in fact American. Michael Moore and Noam Chomsky are perhaps best known and well placed to create the most piercing critique and supply those arguments nationally and internationally. Michael Moore actually had Osama bin Laden quoting him. Insurgents are encouraged by western protests they know that democratic governments will cave. Saddam also (wrongly) believed that the protests would stop the initial attack. Western protests are heard and have an effect in Iraq. Clearly failures in Iraq have been more critical in moving locals into opposition. Attacks that at first were more infrequent have forced US military to now deal with all the people as a potential threat. Their extreme caution now, leading to some tragic errors and the perception of all the people as threat lead to more mistrust and hate on the part of ordinary Iraqis. As the insurgency has grown US and Iraqi contact has become almost impossible. The squandering of the early days of welcome by Bremer etc looks like the biggest waste and failure now. I would not have ordered this war if I were President…… but where I part company with most ‘anti-war’ people is……. given that it had actually happened…….. Saddam had been overthrown without the millions of casualties that some had predicted…….. I at that stage wished that the new occupation would succeed in delivering a life with modern freedoms, a life without fear, and deliver ordinary decency in the lives of Iraqis, it is after all the minimum that all people deserve. Sadly it appears, Iraqis have escaped one form of vile tyranny and terror for a new kind of vile, uncertainty, fear, terror and tyranny delivered by fundamentalist militias, death squads and their proxies. Maybe the way forward is the break up of Iraq? I don’t see many solutions advocated other than ‘pull out now’ by ‘anti-war’ people which gives the lie to the ‘Anti-war’ label……it would of course be the beginning of a proper full-on war, but admittedly not one involving the death of any Americans only hundreds of thousands of Iraqis. The photojournalism of people like Joao is actually free of rhetoric but does primarily show the work of US forces and people coming into contact with them for practical reasons. Insurgents and fundamentalists attempt to kill or take hostage then kill, all western media representatives making independent journalism very difficult. Cheers Jez XX

    jez @ November 6, 2006, 7:46 pm

  • Yeah….er…. the photo!!!!! Thanks Pierre-Yves, Ben and Kris for commenting on the image above…… I love the angle myself…… cheers guys vvv much appreciated! Cheers Jez XX

    jez @ November 6, 2006, 8:46 pm

  • sorry guys for commenting on photograph and not on politics but I really like this shot, it is quite conceptual with perfect framing sorry again 🙂

    Photo Traces @ November 7, 2006, 7:08 pm

  • No this really…… is a photoblog…….thanx vvmuch for commenting photoT…….yeah this image could develop a whole narrative on its own……. it has a sense of the profound for me………. almost a visual representation of the unheard voice. Thanx again Cheers Jez XX

    jez @ November 8, 2006, 2:23 am

  • So, Where were we?

    Deputy Speaker @ November 13, 2006, 2:04 pm

  • God Bless America!

    Joe @ November 15, 2006, 3:55 pm

  • in ref to the link posted above by Joe: yeah what a disgusting terrible thing to happen…….I see that the perpetrators are being sentenced……..good…………. er ……. there are 245,000 coalition forces in Iraq……. er ……the actions of this tiny number should of course not be used to characterize or demonize the rest, I assume you are not doing this….. right?. The rest who I have found in my experience generally operate in a disciplined and honorable way under extreme stress. Sure that is a disgusting totally vile thing to happen…….. I hope the individuals who did this get the most very very severe sentences they deserve. Look I would not have ordered this invasion just because of the risk………but given that it was ordered and did successfully overthrow Saddam……. why would I not wish it success….. I never supported the fascist regime of Saddam Hussein it deliberately killed people I worked with …… Saddam’s mass graves are also the bodies of hundreds of thousands who I did not know………..hundreds of thousands tortured and killed and whose killers were never brought to justice………millions died in the wars Saddam ordered……. of course let us also remember US forces famously abused some people in Abu Ghraib…… but inside those walls scores of thousands were tortured to death before the US forces ever arrived, even Amnesty International did concede the human rights record of Abu Ghraib and Iraq had been massively improved with the arrival of US forces. Sure US forces should be held to the very highest standards but let us also look at the actions of those they are opposing. Of course, I don’t fit with the classic, US so called progressive, seeming knee jerk approach…….I don’t think all problems are caused by American’s……..its a weirdly US centric approach to the world…. always to think…….the US is the cause of everything…… the US is responsible for everything……. that US violence is worst than other violence……. that one case of human rights abuse by an American is worse than a thousand cases done by others………..the US is the fount of all evil………. as if other people cannot generate their own vile ideology without the US………as if their actions are the fault of the US not their own fault……… Lets hold all human rights abusers to account shall we? Not just the vile aberrations by individual Americans?……It just seems wrong to only point at US forces for human rights abuse on yet another day of unrelenting disgusting explosions and kidnap, torture and slaughter of civilians on a huge scale……..of course not done by US forces. Done today, as everyday, by their foes to whom human rights abuse is the absolute constant, and their raison d’etre. Cheers Jez

    jez @ November 15, 2006, 10:47 pm

  • You have absolutely no idea what the US military are up to in Iraq. None whatsoever. They will be backing all sorts of groups you or I have no idea about at all, in order to achieve their objective (which will include covertly supporting brutal and viscious sectarian killers). If you imagine the US forces are simply there as liberating benign peace keepers then you are either a member of the CIA or fZ*@ing stoopid. You sound like a fully paid up neo-con in your blind defense anyway. And yet again you really miss the point of it all, of comprehending thinking peoples revulsion at what America is doing and has caused under the provenly false banner of ‘freedom’ and ‘democracy’. The neo-cons lied at the outset and they’re still lying. You seem to have understood nothing of what has been said in some of the more intelligent comments that have been left on your blog. About the bigger picture. You have a very entrenched and privileged world view. You make no attempt to understand the forces at play. You just squirm and blather and justify. You seem more right wing than the republican party. There is a great groundswell of opinion, especially amongst the young, that disapproved and disapprove of US intervention in Iraq. If you spent less time with the US army you might hear a different chorus than the propaganda of the military and administration, but perhaps, from the way your talk ,you’d be deaf to that no matter what. You make your position quite clear in your support of the military. No one is attacking America or its people (my people) per se, if you think that then you’re more ignorant than you sound. It’s the addled and mad neo-cons, the administration, the forces of capital and hegemony, and of course the military industrial complex, which is being attacked by rising voices of disquiet in the US and else where. Those voices are also appalled by the daily Iraqi kidnapping, torture, car bombing, and murder just like you, except those voices are intelligent enough to understand exactly what forces unleashed the vile mayhem in the first place. You say that 245,000 coalition forces are in Iraq and that only a small percentage of that number are bad eggs. You go on to say: “The rest …I have found in my experience generally operate in a disciplined and honorable way under extreme stress.” Have you worked with all 244,000 or more? How would you know? When were you last in Iraq working with these nearly quarter of a million soldiers? Please tell us. More ridiculous twaddle. More right-wing justification based on the most preposterous arguments. Think about what America has done to Iraq, to its people, to its children. Stop talking about Saddam Hussein. We know about Saddam Hussein, just like the US administrations knew about him decades before. Ever see the footage of Rumsfeld shaking Saddam’s hand. Very nice. You should watch it if you haven’t. You might learn something.

    Joe @ November 16, 2006, 6:04 pm

  • “………………Those voices are also appalled by the daily Iraqi kidnapping, torture, car bombing, and murder just like you, except those voices are intelligent enough to understand exactly what forces unleashed the vile mayhem in the first place………….” This is what i was addressing in my final paragraph above…….. the anti democratic forces of sickening religious and ethnic violence are responsible for themselves, they don’t have to do this, give them their due, this is their vile ideology and their vile actions and practice not something thought up for them in the US ……… the murder and slaughter on a grand scale is not carried out by US troops …… so lets stop pretending they are doing most of it or blaming them for the sickening actions of others. As I said I would not have ordered this…. and Im not arguing this has been a success, clearly it has not. Im am saying if it had been a success it would have been better for Iraq…….I say that because I am an anti-fascist. Now given that it hasn’t been a success…. now what? Progressive people in the West seem keen to just leave the militias of ignorant religious and ethnic slaughter to get on with it……. so that any person who has showed any interest in democracy or modern freedoms is killed……again Im not sure the Western ‘progressive’s’ position on this can be automatically characterized as progressive. The big picture is of course if the US had not intervened in Iraq Saddam Hussein would still be running his Republic of fear……..and progressive people in the west would be happy… Sure the US government and economy has its own drivers and imperatives which are not progressive but when some of that aligns with a true anti-fascist agenda……er……why would progressives suddenly align themselves with the fascists……. why do progressive people line up to cheer on the killers of university lectures who in an attempt to undermine science and modernity are slaughtering education to a close down……and just butchering innocents in their thousands……and still those progressives then persist in pretending that this slaughter is somehow part of the role of coalition soldiers. I would like US forces to be able to just leave…….. I respect and like those guys… Id like them to be at home………..but I am afraid for the ordinary Iraqis of the total slaughter that would then follow their immediate departure…….I know progressive people in the West just don’t appear to care about that……… they are only interested in the actions of Americans………anyway I guess they would just blame America. here are some voices of bloggers from Iraq: below is from an antiwar blog…….but even most of these guys( all Iraqi bloggers)…..most of whom of course do blame the US for starting it all and don’t think it was all worth it…………do not make accusations like Joe and other US ‘progressives’ against American soldiers:

    Jez Coulson @ November 16, 2006, 11:34 pm

  • Here is something by Nick Cohen you might like to consider: The anti-war movement disgraced itself not because it was against the war in Iraq, but because it could not oppose the counter-revolution once the war was over. A principled Left that still had life in it and a liberalism that meant what it said might have remained ferociously critical of the American and British governments while offering support to Iraqis who wanted the freedoms they enjoyed. and Norman Geras Wilby right If you’re amongst those who supported the Iraq war you can occasionally have the impression that amongst the war’s opponents there have been some who were actually pleased at how badly things have subsequently gone in that country: mounting death toll, incipient civil war, social chaos… heh, we were right! But mostly one dismisses this as an unworthy thought. Not so in all cases, plainly – here’s Peter Wilby: On Iraq and global warming, the left has been vindicated. Our foes still cannot produce apologies, and instead treat us to some intriguing self-justification[.] Oh, happy days. On the two major issues of the century so far – Iraq and global warming – we lefties have been proved almost completely right. He wouldn’t, on Iraq, have preferred to be wrong? In any case, he’s not been entirely alone in such feelings. (Via Tim Blair.) Cheers Jez XX

    jez @ November 17, 2006, 12:06 am

  • Please don’t subject us to Nick Cohen. He can’t be taken seriously anymore (like yourself)! It’s worth remembering that he and The Observer supported from the outset the invasion of Iraq, initiated because of Saddam’s “weapons of mass destruction”, which as Mr Cohen was being told at the time by the left(amongst others), did not exist. Mr Cohen, like yourself, are clambering into all sorts of anti left positions to justify the current horrendous situation. Please stop and go back to school.

    Pete @ November 17, 2006, 10:53 am

  • Im not looking for an anti-left position……….Im looking for a decent outcome in Iraq…….. Clearly its more trendy to just be ‘against the war’………. without a moments concession to all the change of the last 3 years……… you obviously can dismiss any argument because of lack of hipness or the lack of trendiness of its author……… go for it………. why not……… and dismiss the democrats and Trade Unionists of Iraq with the same certainty and callousness…….. er……..I have to say I suspect you are the one still at school my friend.

    Jez @ November 17, 2006, 1:15 pm

  • How vile and cynical that you speak so condescendingly of people being merely “trendy” and “hip” for being anti war. Since when has being anti war been trendy, except perhaps in the ad agencies you seem so unquestioningly to work for. Most ad agencies have little morality anyway, and are there to promote a product (no matter what). Very much like yourself, by the sound of it. You, of course, being the greatest of those products.

    Pete @ November 17, 2006, 5:05 pm

  • No Pete id didn’t accuse people i accused you…… you refused to address the substantive of Nick Cohen’s argument………..why?…….. because he and the Observer weren’t worth addressing…… ‘can’t be taken seriously anymore’…… er ……..thats just hip posturing (as if the Observer does not have a long worthy history as a Liberal Newspaper and is not now published by the Guardian group) …….he….in that quote…. and I are asking people like you to consider the intial war to overthrow Saddam……….as one thing……..and then the situation afterwards as something else………..and now the proposed decision to abandon Iraq as something else again. That is actually the reality for the people of Iraq. You refused to even consider Nick C’s statement or the validity of the Observer publishing it ………. cos they are not left wing enough for you?……. what ever that means…….. er …… that makes you someone who is looking to fit the ‘left wing’……. label…… hence …… you are interested in how the label fits and looks on you….er…… that makes you…? Yeah ad agency’s are not moral who ever said they were? Don’t be ridiculous …….. They are like FEDEX clients ring for a pickup…… they pick up…. they deliver………. they don’t ask …… er……. what’s the moral position on this packet ? ………. what has this got to do with anything? And me ……… yeah ………Im a photographer (with three bullet proof jackets) ……… what do you do for a living ………. Mr ‘Im so right on and left wing’ ? Cheers Jez XX

    jez @ November 17, 2006, 10:12 pm

  • 1st in the marine corps we dont have medics we have Hospital Corpsman, 2nd sgt. Leach isnt a corpsman hes a marine, 3rd i’m not a soldier i’m not a soldier i’m a marine that makes a big differnece to me

    lcpl Juan valdez-Castillo @ October 23, 2007, 11:27 am

  • In countries, on the contrary, where there is either no uncultivated land, maintained by the employment of capital, they are in general industrious,

    Jennifer @ January 23, 2008, 6:37 am

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