A Photographer’s Life of Love and War
Much to our sorrow, visions of war have been up front and personal for too many years. Most of us, thankfully, have viewed the distressed, dangerous parts of the world from a vicarious position. The events of September, 2001, however, brought terrorism to our doorstep, followed by images of destruction and loss more horrific than any of us could begin to realize. Thus, the dye was cast for Lynsey Addario, a renowned photojournalist who, since 9/11, has risked her life both professionally and personally to engrave these atrocious images in our minds and souls. This is her story.
Having been raised in a very gregarious household, Lynsey was stricken, early on, with an inability to settle in one place, focus on one direction. Providentially, while in South America on assignment, she was exposed to photographs that revealed an inner strength and dignity that, heretofore, she had not known could exist through the lens of a camera. It was then that her passion was determined. Her work became a compulsion, a calling, and the exhilaration that unfolded as she deliberately placed herself in harms way to provide a pictorial story left her knowing that she was where she was supposed to be…at all costs. When sent to the Middle East, she was embedded with militia that forced her to deal with disease, torture, the possibility of death always looming large while she endeavored to photograph the wounded, the mutilated, those left to starve to death (mainly children) and faces enveloped with a fear such as mankind had never recorded. From there, she was assigned to Africa where the game of war was very different but none the less depraved. However, all of this came with a price tag: A life that was constantly in jeopardy; an inability for Lynsey to be considered as one who could have a sustaining relationship; her loved ones being in an agonized state over her safety and well being.
It’s What I Do, illuminates Ms. Addario as a woman who is brave but not fearless. It is this dichotomy in her personality that enables her to allow you to see the pain of conflict and all its ramifications. This exposure ultimately assisted in the realization that stability in her own life (a loving husband, a child), would suggest an obligation to continue to transmit dignity, courage, depravity but through a more impassioned lens. After all, that is what she does!