Renowned photojournalist James Nachtwey has finally made his way to Thailand after chronicling his journeys throughout the world, to be viewed in his retrospective exhibition "James Nachtwey: Memoria", which is on view until Nov 26 at the Bangkok Art and Cultural Centre (BACC).
It's a collaboration between the Royal Photographic Society of Thailand, the Photographic Arts Foundation, the BACC, and the Embassy of the United States of America in Thailand. Coinciding with a screening of Thomas Nordanstad's movie, the exhibition showcases a collection of 126 photographs depicting wars and natural disasters that he took over a period of the last 42 years.
"James Nachtwey is a global figure known for his amazing bravery and devotion in travelling into hazardous and challenging situations during critical times to capture vital images to spread the truth to the world. He was injured while working many times, yet he still takes his cameras to war zones and conflict areas," said Adulaya Hoontrakul of the BACC.
"He has devoted his life to sharing other people's stories. We see contrasts between images of devastating beauty and unspeakable war crimes, the darkest moments of mankind and tremendous danger. He shows how hatred may lead people to purposefully commit the worst kind of harm to one another. But he also catches heartwarming instances of bravery and modest compassion."
The world premiere of Nachtwey's photographs portrays the war in Ukraine, the West Bank, Uganda, El Salvador, Haiti, Lebanon, Nicaragua, Chechnya, Kosovo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Albania, Sudan, Somalia, Rwanda, the border between Rwanda and Tanzania, Zaire, Afghanistan, US, Greece, Croatia, Nepal, Iraq, Pakistan, Romania, Indonesia, Cambodia, Zimbabwe, Vietnam, South Africa, and Poland.
"He is not just a war photographer, his photographs help us comprehend the value of life. Each photograph has been carefully chosen not just to show the photographer's abilities but also how effectively each image describes the context of what we see," said Tul Hiranyalawan, president of the RPST.
"We will never be able to confirm whether the people James took pictures of are still alive. Even then, we won't know what happened to them. However, I believe that these images make us all realise the importance of loving one another, the need for war to end and the value of life."