War photographer and photojournalist concentrating on issues of social concern such as famine or AIDs. He has been a member of Magnum and VII and has won the Robert Capa Gold Medal an unprecedented five times.
Biography provided by Focal Press
The title of Nachtwey’s recent book, Inferno (1999), symbolizes not only the super-heated, destructive nature of the Hellish world events he has documented, it also asks his viewers for a pronouncement of guilt against the sins of sinister forces that destroy humanity and thrive outside the moral boundaries of common decency. In a way, Nachtwey’s own career as a universally celebrated photojournalist has "caught fire" and has propelled his imagery into the forefront of the world’s news and print media. Born in Syracuse, New York, educated at Dartmouth, Nachtwey learned the rudiments of newspaper photography in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He quickly rose to the top of documentary talents with membership in Black Starr (1981), Magnum (1986–2000), and more recently with Agency VII. He is on staff with Time magazine. He has traveled the world wherever hot spots are ignited by war, revolution, genocide, or mass famine — Belfast, Afghanistan, El Salvador, Bosnia, Rwanda, Sudan, Somalia, and Romania. He is the recipient of four Robert Capa gold medals, the Leica Medal, and the W. Eugene Smith award. His cumulative work is unquestioningly the ultimate visual summary of the worst unspeakable acts occurring in the last two decades. His dedication, not unlike many genuine photojournalists, puts him so close to the action he needs to use wide-angle lenses on his cameras. Inferno contains a brutal look at the savagery of the slaughter of Tutsis by the Hutus — pictures that Nachtwey hopes he will never have to replicate in another time and place. His desire is to compel world consciousness to undertake social and political action to prevent these kinds of horrors.
(Author: Ken White - Rochester Institute of Technology)
Michael Peres (Editor-in-Chief), 2007, Focal Encyclopedia of Photography, 4th edition, (Focal Press) [ISBN-10: 0240807405, ISBN-13: 978-0240807409]
(Used with permission)
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