“I believe I’m now the longest-running Iraq/Afghanistan NYT-rotation photographer,” Christoph Bangert wrote in his journal on June 24th, 2013, on a plane to Istanbul. “Everybody else stopped covering wars or…
Christoph Bangert's new photo book, Hello Camel, exposes the surreal and darkly comic side of today's wars.
Having taken on the darker issues surrounding war reporting and our perceptions of conflict, Christoph Bangert's new book, Hello Camel, exposes the surreal and blackly comic side of today's wars, a facet of conflict he feels is as important, and as little shown, as the horror he highlighted in War Porn.
My apartment is both full of books and people passing through it. Not one of them has flipped open Christoph Bangert’s War Porn without slamming it closed with a shudder. War Porn is not made to be flipped through absentmindedly. Its format and raw cardboard cover make it an unappealing coffee table book. This is an uncensored collection of horrific images of modern warfare.
After a 12-hour drive we reach Sendai, with an empty tank. We have been listening to the radio all day. Reactor No. 3 has blown up. NHK Radio is playing a slow instrumental version of “Strawberry Fields Forever.” NHK is a news station and never plays music. Not a good sign.
I get phone calls from the writers. “Leave now!” they say. I call Harald and explain why I want to find out more before I make a decision. He tells me to be very careful, but says that he trusts my judgment.
German photographer CHRISTOPH BANGERT is part of a new generation of photojournalists that came of age post-9/11 and well into the internet era. “The difference with former generations is perhaps that we take a broader view. We know that it is not enough to have good pictures; you have to be good at communicating too.”
Christoph Bangert wanted to try something new for portraits he was taking in Afghanistan. He used film.
Christoph Bangert took some highly unusual photographic accessories with him to Afghanistan earlier this year. He’d never used them professionally before. And their presence in his camera bag aroused the suspicion of more than one security guard.
They were rolls of Plus-X and Tri-X film.
Keeping a Visual Diary in a War Zone
Keeping a Visual Diary in a War Zone – At War Blog – NYTimes.com:
Christoph Bangert adds: When I spent about two months on assignment for The New York Times in Baghdad this year, I proposed to Stephen Farrell, who was in charge of At War’s predecessor, the Baghdad Bureau blog, that I post one picture online every day during my stay in Iraq.
Invisible in Baghdad
Christoph Bangert, from the Digital Journalist:
There are maybe eight or nine foreign photographers still trying to cover this conflict from the civilian side. I am by far not the bravest, most committed, talented nor longest-serving of these photographers; I am just one of them. The majority of the pictures that are coming out of this country are taken by Iraqi photographers working for wire services or foreigners who are exclusively embedded with the military. Of course, I am one of them and am sometimes embedded with either the American, British or Iraqi military and so are most of my colleagues.
I used to be the only blond guy in Baghdad. Well, at least that’s what I felt like. Now I am the only blond guy in Baghdad that dyed his hair black. I look like a fool and maybe I am one. Maybe it’s foolish to be here and tell oneself that it is important to do so. Maybe it actually makes sense.