Banging on the Door of Photojournalism

Peter Anderson (a pretty spectacular War Photographer himself) directed me to this essay by Chicago photojournalist, Alex Garcia.

Here is an excerpt:

 

The man was pounding on my door, angry drunk, slurring loudly in Spanish and imploring “Maria!” to come out of my apartment.

But Maria wasn’t in my apartment. I didn’t even know who Maria was.

He must have been on the wrong floor.

Like I said, he was drunk.

He kept banging, violent and insistent.  Although I was screaming back in Spanish, “No vive aquí!” he wouldn’t listen. Then I heard him trying to bust the lock.

The whole thing was escalating out of control.

Did he have a weapon? The thought of him breaking the door down was in the back of my mind. I didn’t know what I would do. I called building security. No one answered.

I called 911.

Minutes later, he mercifully stopped. But I still heard him fuming at the end of the hallway, in the stairway, as if lying in wait.

Finally, the police came.

When they did, one cop took down my record of what happened while the other rolled his eyes. I was insulted and called him on it. He didn’t care.

After all, I was living in a low-income apartment in a city that saw frequent violent crime. What did I expect?

 

 

 

Read the rest here.

 

Garcia’s personal story is fascinating–but the rest gets even better. I appreciate this essay primarily for the essential truth: your photos (or writing) reflect where you live.

This is a very close-to-my-heart concept, although a bit secondary in my case. I identify with Garcia in that I am sick to death of the same old stories, and long to hear and see news of the kingdom in all its mustard-seed glory. So how many of us are willing to be embedded?

 

 

 

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4 thoughts on “Banging on the Door of Photojournalism

  1. Mark C says:

    Holy crap. I FINALLY get what you’ve been communicating with the War Photographer posts. Thank you.

  2. I want to be more embedded where I am now, but it is a challenge since I live in a pretty rural area. I struggle with how to be where my people are when they are pretty far-flung.

    Being online has helped some. I have found out about prayer needs of local peeps and shared in their joys on FB. I am glad for those connections, but it is still one step removed from their lives.

    Looking at the situation objectively, I have only been here a year. Even in more populated contexts a year was too little time for me to be truly embedded. I plan to keep at it and hope for greater connection as time goes on.

thoughts?

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