What toll does photographing constant suffering take on the war photographer? What are their limits? In the age of social networks, where everyone is a photographer, how has their role changed?
Eric Bouvet is one of the most successful photo reporters in the world, covering wars including Afghanistan, Iraq, Chechnya and Libya. He returns to Ukraine, eight years after covering the Maidan revolution, and lets us follow him at work. From Lviv to Kyiv, behind the sandbags and overturned cars, a resistance is born and he captures everything. His heartbreaking image of a child touching his father’s hand through the pane of a train window, just before fleeing into exile went around this world. After he took that photo, the father turned to him and said he didn’t know if he would ever see his child again.
In addition to the emotional distress, war reporters often have financial problems. They are expected to pay their own expenses in the hope of later recouping if they capture ‘that’ key image. And then there is also the difficulty of covering the conflict as they would like. They can’t get closer to the fights. “We imagine that the photographers who cover the conflicts run every day under the bombs and avoid bullets but it’s not really that”, he explains on Europe 1. “Most of the time, we are facing the problems of the civilians because the front is always very difficult to access because the war is dirty. And neither side wants to show what is happening there. They obviously have wounded and dead and they never want to show it to keep the morale of troops and civilians”
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