4.12.10 Photo-Journalism as Art

Increasingly, in the modern age, photojournalists are creating images that draw our attention to horrific current events but also include a level of beauty and aesthetic. Often, academic critics claim that mixing art and journalism contaminates reality - that photographers are "beautifying grief and pain to achieve viewer satisfaction."

The above image, taken by acclaimed photographer James Nachtwey, was included as part of the "World Free of TB" exhibition at the United Nations in 2007. It captures tragedy by portraying a 12 year old Cambodian boy with a photo of his deceased mother; at the same time, the image contains a mystic beauty (caused by the smoke billowing and the serene backdrop).

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