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The last of the great photojournalists, James Nachtwey

The bodies have been frost-dusted. She rests one hand on her brother’s shoulder, while the fingers of her other hand rest on her mouth.

In the picture, there are two additional human hands nearly perfectly arranged, one resting on the head of a dog, the other nervously fiddling with her blonde hair.

It depicts an unexpectedly serene moment, well balanced like a classical painting. Except it’s not; it’s a photo taken by famed photojournalist James Nachtwey in the aftermath of the Bucha massacre.

“Hands and eyes, please.” I’m always focused on my hands and eyes. And the dog’s specifics. “You can actually see sympathy in the dog’s face,” says Mr Nachtwey, who has brought his retrospective exhibition Memoria to Bangkok, the only place in Asia where it will be presented.

The collection includes 126 pictures from some of the world’s deadliest conflicts and calamities, ranging from Central America in the 1980s to the ongoing situation in Ukraine.

Mr Nachtwey, a quiet, soft-spoken guy who prefers to let his photographs speak for themselves, agreed to be interviewed in Bangkok about his approach to photography and the state of the profession in the digital age.


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