We Brits (though I don’t think we ever think of ourselves as Brits) often like to pride ourselves on our BBC, in some ways the best broadcasting company in the world, and sometimes I think there is some truth in this, also increasingly I find myself turning to other news services to find what is really happening in – for example – the Middle East, and deploring the BBC for its inaccuracy in reporting some UK events which I’ve attended, and its tendency to pitch for the status quo. Often accused of political bias by Tories, its real and utterly consistent bias is to the established order, even if a few of its journalists sometimes try hard to overcome this.
But one thing it’s never done well is photography. It’s too soaked in a logocentric culture to have any real idea about an essentially visual medium, but really it doesn’t try too hard since it just isn’t regarded as of any importance.
Much more often I find myself looking at and listening to features about photography at another public service broadcaster, the USA’s NPR. The latest is a report about Syrian teacher Noor Kelz, an English teacher from Aleppo who has become a war photographer. She started taking pictures on her mobile, but her career was transformed last Autumn by a meeting with Reuter’s photographer Goran Tomasovic.
He “spotted Noor shooting pictures with her cellphone. He trained her for a week on how to use a professional camera, then gave her a few of his cameras to keep. She’s been sending pictures to the agency ever since.”
Noor (or Nour) Kelze was wounded in Aleppo a couple of weeks ago, suffering a broken leg and shrapnel wounds when a tank shell exploded near her and is being treated in hospital in Turkey, but she hopes to be back at the front lines shortly. There are two pictures of her, one with her leg in plaster, on the PetaPixel post about the NPR show.
She appears in a film ‘Not Anymore, A Story Of Revolution – Nour Kilze – Noor Kelze‘ made by Matthew VanDyke who she worked with to raise funds for the Free Syrian Army which is due for release shortly – all I can find at the moment is a short CNN feature on it.