Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Antonin Kratochvil: Master Of Conflict
A photographer without borders, Antonin Kratochvil creates gritty images that reveal the essence of human suffering and spirit
“I was the only photographer in Iraq with an assistant. Everybody was laughing at me. In the end, everyone was stealing from me,” he says while laughing. “Iraq was a really tough assignment. When you’re not embedded with the military, you work alone with no support. I had my own car, but it was tough to find gasoline. It was tough to find food and shelter. We slept in minefields.”
| Hundreds of miners search for diamonds at Congo Creek, outside of Koidu, Sierra Leone. The image was part of a photo essay on blood diamonds.
In September 2001, Kratochvil was one of seven photographers who founded the VII Photo Agency, an international photo cooperative focused on documenting conflict across the globe. The agency’s photographers, who also include Ron Haviv, James Nachtwey and Gary Knight, are credited with bringing to the world many of the iconic images that have defined the 21st century so far. Beyond that, the group regularly holds seminars and exhibitions around the world that allow them to interact with the public and report on subjects often ignored by mainstream media.
In mid-October 2009, Kratochvil held a nine-day photography workshop at Chernobyl where, after more than 20 years, the aftermath of the world’s worst nuclear disaster still resonates loudly. Three of those days were spent working, eating and sleeping in the shadow of the reactor that exploded. He’s also working on a project with Doctors Without Borders that addresses malnutrition across the globe.
“People ask me how I make pictures, and I don’t know how I make them. I feel them,” says Kratochvil. “A lot of my pictures are off-the-cuff, made through my subconscious.”
Canon EOS 5D Mark II
Canon PowerShot G11
Canon EF 28mm ƒ/2.8
Canon EF 14mm ƒ/2.8L II USM
To see more of Antonin Kratochvil’s photography, visit his website at www.antoninkratochvil.com.
Page 3 of 3