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TONE-DEAF BY CHOICE?



World Press Photo is again taking to the world stage. Not surprising with a name like that. According to themselves they are: "Pursuing justice and seeking the truth". But are they really doing their job to protect us from fake news and stories? I think not!


By Jørn Stjerneklar, photographer



World Press Photo has after some serious pressure from bloggers and on social media made a new investigation into Iranian photographer Hossein Fatemi's prize winning series “An Iranian Journey”.

WPP are not surprisingly still avoiding to take action against the photographer, even it's obvious that Fatemi has not followed the very basic rules WPP has for caption writing and staging photographs.

I will not write volumes about this but it's strange that a clear cut case like this has to be dragged into a long tedious journey in cyber space by the boss, Lars Boering, and his employees in Amsterdam.

So let me conclude what is certain here:

One of the rules in writing a caption to the WPP contest is:

”The final sentence must explain the circumstances in which a photograph was taken. If the photographer influenced the scene in any way, or gave directions to a subject to pose in any way for a portrait, this must be disclosed.”

If you look at the
photo evidence given by Ramin Talaie.

a
b

Two pictures, same situation. Two shooters! So Fatemi's caption is nowhere near the demand from WPP. He does not tell us that another photographer is in the room. Strange he doesn't in an intimate situation like this.
It's not a press briefing!
He does not tell us he asks the woman to move. She can't be sleeping if you look at the two images. Unless the two photographers have waited around for a long time. That should be easy to establish, get Fatemi's RAW-files from the shoot, all of them, please.

She has been directed to move around during the encounter!

Why is it he is allowed by WPP not to tell us the circumstances in which the photograph was taken?

WPP writes in their new statement:
There is no reason to doubt Ramin’s account of his recent conversation with “Mino”. However, the difficulty is that there are now three very different accounts of one scene, with visual evidence supporting elements of only two accounts, but still without providing a clear conclusion.

Well what is it in the two pictures which hinders a conclusion?
The two images tells you the scene is staged.

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And if you look at the third image from Panos, it just underline how Fatemi has directed the woman, who by Ramin's account by the way has only a single child she doesn't care for anyway. I am here referring to Fatemi's WPP caption, where he writes she has two children and fucks with the man in the room who he forgets to mention is present in room in the WPP-caption, to support her two kids.

Come on! I am confused, so should WPP be.

But there's something with prostitutes and WPP. We have an expression in Danish. It is literally like this: "There have to be something for the Hussars".
Which means if you make a film or photojournalism like Fatemi you want to make it interesting for people who are not highbrowed (look at the picture WPP has used to illustrate their
latest findings!)

Marco Vernaschi's winning series from 2010, in which many of the photos were staged, also had prostitutes as an eye catching feature. No questions asked back then, no questions asked now.

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I just wonder why WPP keeps on avoiding to take a serious step to stop the staged photos in the competition. I again have to refer to our working class hero, 'the Censor', "
by the way, I think Marco Vernaschi should have his first prize taken away”.

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