“But when I watched the short documentary film, I was struck by his words, and his willingness to put his politics where his photographers were. He spoke with surprising honesty not just about what he thought of the work being produced by embedded photographers, but also about the entire war and its objectives. This is very rare to hear when it comes to working photojournalists. Most professionals prefer to hide their personal politics and opinions behind vague statements about ‘bearing witness’ or ‘asking only questions, and not offering answers’ and other such obfuscations that hide their fear of being marginalized in the rather small, cliquish and deeply conservative editorial world that is photojournalism.”
I guess people would rather talk endlessly about Photoshop pseudo-scandals in photojournalism (while ignoring the increasingly kitschy aesthetic that is so widely used) or about the supposed heroism of photojournalists themselves than about issues that actually should be covered. Good for Simon Norfolk that he is willing to be a lone wolf.
Photographer Mike Brodie documented a lengthy series of travels across the country starting in 2004, taking on the moniker of the “Polaroid Kidd.” Though his work has been met with acclaim, and is currently on display at the M+B Gallery in Los Angeles, he’s since stepped away from the world of photography.
So what inspired Brodie to explore the country in such a rough way? From photographer Barbara Davidson’s interview with him:
“The punk scene, like radical anarchists and all these feminist girls, at the time, their ideas and way of life were really interesting and inspiring to me and really gave me the push to think for myself and, well, hit the road. I saw 46 states via freight train; the journey was 10 years, the book was culled from four years’ worth of photographs.”