Snap snap snap

Here’s a little snippet from the book, the Zanzibar Chest, by Aidan Hartley which I’m engrossed in at the moment:

“I managed to get a vehicle from some Tutsi guerrillas who knew me, and Lizzie piled in with photographers Sebastiao Salgado and Giles Peress of Magnum. Snap, snap, snap went the photographers, all in a line. Up ahead, a truckload of bloated Hutus blasted by RPG: snap, snap, snap. Go on for five minutes. Heap of corpses seething with maggots, partially eaten by dogs: snap, snap, snap.”

A good book!

Bang Bang!

I read The Bang Bang Club by Greg Marinovich and Joao Silva in one sitting.

Before you’ve even hit the second page, you’re immersed, bullets singing past you, rusty bars and heavy knives jabbing as though into your own body, and the smell of petrol on flaming flesh.

The insanity of racial violence bought to you by way of ‘beach bum’ photographers and, dowsed with dollops of intimacy and history; girl friends, mandrax and bhang parties, Reuter contracts, suicide and Afrikaner gunslinging racists (itching for a full on battle to the death with black people). Out of this chaos emerge images that win the pullizers, sell newspapers and signpost history.

But the awe dies, you’ve realised, that in fact, bringing yourself to within a hairsbreadth of death (yours or someone else’s), might not be so heroic after all, its like voyeurism into lunacy, but once you’ve seen it, an apathetic deadness sinks in, faith in life destroyed when you see how much is now left to repair.

Apartheid has barely faded and the Rwandan genocide is coming alive and then Iraq and Iraq, and shit you know I’ve missed some….bang, bang, bang!