Documentary Photography

At some point in time, memories fade.

The Bhopal Tragedy. Thirty years ago now. I was 31 and preoccupied with entirely different things. I was involved in Photography as a very happy amateur and working in the camera stores learning gear, gear, gear. I was eight years away from hanging out my shingle. Sometimes stupidity is bliss, isn’t it? Too damned stupid to know I couldn’t possibly make a go of it.

Well, it worked in it’s own fashion.

At that point in time I remember hearing about the Bhopal Disaster. I couldn’t comprehend it. These days I’m far slower and much savvier than I was back then, which brings me to documentary photography.

This article in The Atlantic contains some very powerful images; a stark reminder to 30 years ago. I’m amazed that the structures were left standing… a double slap in the face, they never even cleaned the site up. In image 8, a man is hosing down canvas to keep further fumes from leaking and wearing no protective gear whatsoever.

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I’m pleased to see proper photo credits were given on these images.

Without the men and women who go out and get images like this it’s LOST. Thirty years have passed, it’s a distant memory to US. It certainly isn’t to them. Photography like this keeps these events alive.

Bhopal: The World’s Worst Industrial Disaster, 30 Years Later

John Sharpe/ Sharpeshots

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