Reporting the World: John Pilger's great eyewitness photographers


Regan (USA); Peter Stone (Africa); Penny Tweedie (Australia, East Timor, Bangladesh); Anastasia Vrachnos (Indonesia); and Paul Weinberg (Africa), 21 Publishing Ltd ">

Reporting the World: John Pilger's great eyewitness photographers

Capturing images of human suffering and heroism, political struggle and oppression, and the devastation and destruction of war, Reporting the World: John Pilger's Great Eyewitness Photographers, opens at Sydney's Museum of Contemporary Art on August 8. The exhibition presents more than 200 photographs selected by renowned Australian dissident journalist, writer and documentary maker John Pilger.

The exhibition revolves around striking images by photojournalists who have worked alongside Pilger since the 1960s, recording and reporting from Cambodia, Vietnam, Burma, Indonesia, East Timor, the Philippines, Japan, Bangladesh, the United States, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Africa, Australia, Britain, Europe and Iraq.

Photographer Philip Jones Griffith's images of Vietnam document the devastating impact of Washington's war on that nation and its courageous people. Steve Cox documents East Timor's struggle for independence in the face of the violence of the Indonesian regime, backed by the Australian and US governments. Nic Dunlop's images from Burma are mesmerising and at the same time mind-numbing.

Pilger's collaboration with photographers Matt Herron and Ken Regan highlight a life-long interest in the United States. Herron's photographs of the civil rights campaign, the movement against the arms race and the effects of the Vietnam War reflect a less well-known side of US life.

Eerily haunting images by David Munro capture the poverty faced by thousands of people in the Philippines, while photographers such as Paul Weinberg and Keith Bernstein portray powerful images of the South African struggle against racism and the stark divisions between the rich and poor that continue to scar that country.

Penny Tweedie and Gerrit Fokkema present a number of images documenting Australia's hidden histories, with a special focus on the continuing oppression suffered by the Indigenous people.

All of the images in the exhibition tell a story, and are powerful in their clarity and undeniable honesty. In this exhibition Pilger aims to show how great photographers are both story-tellers and truth-tellers, often going against the consensual version of events.

Participating photographers: Nabil Al-Jerani (Iraq); Keith Bernstein(Africa); Tom Buist (United Kingdom); Steve Cox (East Timor); Nic Dunlop (Burma, Vietnam, Cambodia); Gerrit Fokkema (Australia); John Garrett (United Kingdom, Australia); Curt Gunther (USA); Matt Herron (USA); Philip Jones Griffiths (Vietnam); Marion Kaplan (Africa); Susan Meiselas (Nicaragua); Chris Menges (Vietnam); David Munro (Philippines); Shigeru Oda (Japan); John Pilger (Vietnam, Cambodia); Eric Piper (Cambodia, Bangladesh, El Salvador, Vietnam, Europe); Ken Regan (USA); Peter Stone (Africa); Penny Tweedie (Australia, East Timor, Bangladesh); Anastasia Vrachnos (Indonesia); and Paul Weinberg (Africa).

Reporting the World will continue at the MCA until October 8. Admission is free. The exhibition will move to the Melbourne Museum in December.

For information on all special events and public programs associated with this exhibition, please visit the MCA web site <>.

A book containing many of the photographs, also titled Reporting the World: John Pilger's Great Eyewitness Photographers, is available from 21 Publishing Ltd. Order at <>.

From Green Left Weekly, July 31, 2002.
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