Photojournalists Bring War to Brooklyn

VII Gallery Focuses Lens on Russian-Georgian Conflict

Long before old-school news masters started getting laid off for their inability to cobble together a coherent online strategy, they were already scaling back their coverage of international conflicts, no matter how newsworthy.

It all seems rather short-sighted and especially unfair to that special breed of photographer and reporter who routinely put their lives at risk for stories in far corners of the globe. Sure, that latest Brangelina rumor with the silly Photoshop image will get a lot of clicks, and isn’t too bad fewer editors want to invest in coverage of those poor people getting run over by tanks wherever it is today.

Enter the VII photo agency, a collective of some of the best photo-journalists working today. Coincidentally, they were founded in Manhattan on Sept. 9, 2001. Last year they opened a gallery in Brooklyn to display their work and sell their books and DVDs.

Their goal: "Together they document conflict - environmental, social and political, both violent and non-violent - to produce an unflinching record of the injustices created and experienced by people caught up in the events they describe." The show that's just opened, “ Georgia : The August War,” is the first exhibition designed specifically for the VII gallery. It features pictures from three VII photographers who high-tailed it toward Gori for three different assignments this summer: Donald Weber was shooting for Newsweek, Ron Haviv was on assignment for Dispatches magazine, and Marcus Bleasdale was documenting the scene for Human Rights Watch. Their pictures and video will fill the Dumbo gallery through Jan. 5.

See NewYorkology for more on the gallery and its upcoming exhibitions.

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