Those smiling faces…
Today I'm truly happy to feature Andre Liohn, an old friend, a friend of S4C and one of the best and most accomplished combat photographer of our times.
There is no need to introduce him. He became the first Latin American photojournalist to receive the prestigious Robert Capa Gold Medal by the Overseas Press Club for his work on the Libyan Civil War. He devoted his Life in documenting the most horrible social and humanitarian crisis around the World (his work documenting the challenges faced by health care personal working in conflict areas, has been used by the ICRC's Health Care in Danger project, denouncing cases violence against health care personal around the World) with an unusual sensible approach to storytelling and empathy for those who lived those stories.
What we show today are different pictures.
These are not photos that could be published in newspapers or magazines, they are not pictures that tell the story of the events that were happening and that led me to be in that place and moment next to these men. These photos do not tell what happened before and also, they do not tell what could or would happen after they were made. These photos were made as if what had brought us there had stopped to exist. These photos show moments of relaxation amidst the eminent and often inevitable, final point in the lives of those who appear in them smiling. Many of the soldiers in these photos no longer live, some, lost their lives days and even hours after I photographed them. These photos remind me of dear friend Captain Walidi, a hero who died while helping his soldiers to rescue an injured friend. I feel flattered that I have met each of these people.
They pay a tribute to the men he crossed in Iraq. Most of them do not live anymore. Many died just after taking those shots. But many are still there, fighting terrorists in their own Land. They are the ones to whom we owe the fall of ISIS.
And there is also another image that struck my attention
A tribute to Photojournalism and to those who raise their camera every time to document the moments that define history.