In our country extreme 'Political Correctness' is the current modus operandi for living. Everyone walks around on tiptoes, worried they might have inavertantly miffed a minority group somewhere.
Further on HCB; if he had followed the current trend in PC he wouldn't have used a right-angled viewer to fool subjects. But it's also unlikely he would have been labelled 'Greatest Photographer of the 20th Centry'.
These things go in cycles and certainly imho our society needed to change, here anyway. But, also the pendulum has swung a long way in the opposite direction. It'd be easy to step into the political discussion out that.
Yes it can be seen as exploitation, but this is in the eye of the beholder. A photographer may also make a comment on society with their camera whilst maintaining responsibility for and awareness of affects of their images without a vehicle to aid the subject or the intent to exploit.Originally Posted by Andyk
In a round about way Salgado is a good case in point. I follow his photography avidly, spent a small fortune on his books. His cause constantly seems noble and admirable and it is easy to assume all his work is motivated by the will to aid. Perhaps this is true of his excellent Narration of the Brazilian coffee routes, which was incidentally sponsored by Illy.
What did his End of Polio portfolio really do? The campaign to eradicate Polio by the end of last year was executed by aid workers around the world. The photographer mearly witnessed it and through his fame for this kind of work was able to give it a wider audience. Don't know how much he actually aided the eradication of polio though.
I don't mean to be disparaging in any way. Merely making the point that "if you photograph a displaced person when you have a good and widely regarded reputation it's aid but if you photograph the same when you don't it is exploitation" is too black and white for me.
A simple image taken by an amateur photograph that makes an audience see something they wouldn't normally see in their own environment, could be very beneficial.