Editor's View: Frontline - Creative Planet Network

Editor's View: Frontline

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I think you’ll be interested in Witness, HBO’s four-part documentary series that follows photojournalists working in conflict zones, covering drug trafficking, poverty, gang violence, corruption and ethnic warfare.

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Eros Hoagland in Juarez, Mexico

Airing this month, Witness is executive produced by Michael Mann, who explains, “Sometimes, in a single frame in the midst of chaos and danger, an indescribable, small piece of truth is captured. As journalists, as artists, they’re drawn in while everyone else is running in the other direction. They stand as witness.” The subjects of the series—Eros Hoagland in Juarez, Mexico, and Rio de Janeiro; Michael Christopher Brown in Libya; and Veronique de Viguerie in South Sudan—risk their lives daily to record their imagery.

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Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

The raw, immersive series “was born out of our belief that by following the experiences and struggles of war photographers who risk their lives in an attempt to reveal the truth, we would capture an honest, ground-level view of conflicts around the world, and the people affected, in a way that had not been seen before,” says executive producer David Frankham.

“There are moments when it’s quite frightening and you’re asking yourself, ‘Hey I’ve got a 3-year-old little girl, what am I doing going through the jungle with a military that’s just looking for a firefight? What am I doing out there?’ But those are just flashing moments. Most of the time you just get on with your work. You’re waking up every day trying to get to the story, get to the people, get to the conflict. Then you come home late and tired, eat a bit and argue about what worked and what didn’t. I think there’s a bit of tunnel vision, in a way. There’s something about looking through a viewfinder and focusing on things that puts you in a different place.”

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