An interview with Glenna Gordon about her work as a photojournalist covering Boko Haram, ISIS, and the Ebola outbreak.
Glenna Gordon has been photographing objects—school uniforms, or a pair of medical gloves—and somehow getting them to express their latent energies and their uncanny ability to divulge more than one would expect. Teju Cole reached her in Abuja by e-mail to talk about these recent projects.
whats the jackanory ?: London calling: “I did a shoot for Sunday Times on the 3rd Jan. The wold champion female track cyclist. A Brit. Big hopes for the Olympics. Great ! A job immediately after the new year – it gets your confidence up and your new year is out the traps. I got £250 fee. One of my very first commissions ever was for The Sunday Times in 1993. My fee was £250. In 15 years they have held down their costs 100%. What an amazing achievement. The chief picture editor of the whole newspaper – a man I’ve never even heard of or met – so the boss over and above the PE’s in all the sections/magazines – was so impressed with my picture that he got his p.a. to call me and ‘ask’ me if it was alright if they could hold on to the pictures for a little bit longer as they were so good he felt that they were very syndicatable. How long for? Not long, just a while, well until after the Olympics. Is there going to be a split in it for me? We’d give you 10%. The institutional disrespect for photographers and photography cannot be over emphasised.”