The Bang-Bang Club: Snapshots from a Hidden War

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9780099281498: The Bang-Bang Club: Snapshots from a Hidden War

The Bang-Bang Club was a group of four young war photographers, friends and colleagues: Ken Oosterbroek, Kevin Carter, Greg Marinovich and Joao Silva, war correspondants during the last years of apartheid, who took many of the photographs that encapsulate the final violent years of racist white South Africa. Two of them won Pulitzer Prizes for individual photos. Ken, the oldest and a mentor to the others, died, accidentally shot while working; Kevin, the most troubled of the four, committed suicide weeks after winning his Pulitzer for a photograph of a starving baby in the Sudanese famine. Written by Greg and Joao, The Bang-Bang Club tells their uniquely powerful war stories. It tells the story of four remarkable young men, the stresses, tensions and moral dilemmas of working in situations of extreme violence, pain and suffering, the relationships between the four and the story of the end of apartheid. An immensely powerful, riveting and harrowing book, and an invakuable contribution to the literary genre of war photography. An eye-opening book for readers of Susan Sontag.

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Review:

Most people, upon hearing gunfire, would run away and hide. Conflict photojournalists have the opposite reaction: they actually look for trouble, and when they find it, get as close as possible and stand up to get the best shot. This thirst for the shot and the seeming nonchalance to the risks entailed earned Greg Marinovich, Joao Silva, Ken Oosterbroek, and Kevin Carter the moniker of the Bang-Bang Club. Oosterbroek was killed in township violence just days before South Africa's historic panracial elections. Carter, whose picture of a Sudanese child apparently being stalked by a vulture won him a Pulitzer Prize, killed himself shortly afterwards. Another of their posse, Gary Bernard, who had held Oosterbroek as he died, also committed suicide.

The Bang-Bang Club is a memoir of a time of rivalry, comradeship, machismo, and exhilaration experienced by a band of young South African photographers as they documented their country's transition to democracy. We forget too easily the political and ethnic violence that wracked South Africa as apartheid died a slow, spasmodic death. Supporters of the ANC and Inkatha fought bloody battles every day. The white security forces were complicit in fomenting and enabling some of the worst violence. All the while, the Bang-Bang Club took pictures. And while they did, they were faced with the moral dilemma of how far they should go in pursuit of an image, and whether there was a point at which they should stop their shooting and try to intervene.

This is a riveting and appalling book. It is simply written--these guys are photographers, not writers--but extremely engaging. They were adrenaline junkies who partied hard and prized the shot above all else. None of them was a hero; these men come across as overweeningly ambitious, egotistical, reckless, and selfish, though also brave and even principled. As South Africans, they were all invested in their country's future, even though, as whites, they were strangers in their own land as they covered the Hostel wars in the black townships. The mixture of the romantic appeal of the war correspondent with honest assessments of their personal failings is part of what makes this account so compelling and so singular among books of its ilk. --J. Riches

About the Author:

Greg Marinovich is a Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer and writer who has free-lanced for Time, Newsweek, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Associated Press. Joao Silva is a free-lance photographer whose work has appeared in the New York Times. He was the South African Press Photographer of the Year for 1992. Both now live in Johannesburg.

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Greg Marinovich, Joao Silva
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Book Description Cornerstone, United Kingdom, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The Bang-Bang Club was a group of four young war photographers, friends and colleagues: Ken Oosterbroek, Kevin Carter, Greg Marinovich and Joao Silva, war correspondants during the last years of apartheid, who took many of the photographs that encapsulate the final violent years of racist white South Africa. Two of them won Pulitzer Prizes for individual photos. Ken, the oldest and a mentor to the others, died, accidentally shot while working; Kevin, the most troubled of the four, committed suicide weeks after winning his Pulitzer for a photograph of a starving baby in the Sudanese famine. Written by Greg and Joao, The Bang-Bang Club tells their uniquely powerful war stories. It tells the story of four remarkable young men, the stresses, tensions and moral dilemmas of working in situations of extreme violence, pain and suffering, the relationships between the four and the story of the end of apartheid. An immensely powerful, riveting and harrowing book, and an invakuable contribution to the literary genre of war photography. An eye-opening book for readers of Susan Sontag. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780099281498

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Book Description Cornerstone, United Kingdom, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The Bang-Bang Club was a group of four young war photographers, friends and colleagues: Ken Oosterbroek, Kevin Carter, Greg Marinovich and Joao Silva, war correspondants during the last years of apartheid, who took many of the photographs that encapsulate the final violent years of racist white South Africa. Two of them won Pulitzer Prizes for individual photos. Ken, the oldest and a mentor to the others, died, accidentally shot while working; Kevin, the most troubled of the four, committed suicide weeks after winning his Pulitzer for a photograph of a starving baby in the Sudanese famine. Written by Greg and Joao, The Bang-Bang Club tells their uniquely powerful war stories. It tells the story of four remarkable young men, the stresses, tensions and moral dilemmas of working in situations of extreme violence, pain and suffering, the relationships between the four and the story of the end of apartheid. An immensely powerful, riveting and harrowing book, and an invakuable contribution to the literary genre of war photography. An eye-opening book for readers of Susan Sontag. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780099281498

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Book Description Cornerstone. Book Condition: New. 2001. Paperback. The Bang-Bang Club was a group of four young photographers, friends and colleagues, Ken Oosterbroek, Kevin Carter, Greg Marinovich and Joao Silva, who covered the last years of apartheid. This title tells their stories, - the stresses, tensions and moral dilemmas of working in situations of extreme violence - and the story of the end of apartheid. Num Pages: 336 pages, 16 illustrations. BIC Classification: 1HFMS; AJB; AJCR; BG; HBJH; JPVH. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 197 x 130 x 23. Weight in Grams: 272. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9780099281498

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Book Description Cornerstone, 2001. Book Condition: New. 2001. Paperback. The Bang-Bang Club was a group of four young photographers, friends and colleagues, Ken Oosterbroek, Kevin Carter, Greg Marinovich and Joao Silva, who covered the last years of apartheid. This title tells their stories, - the stresses, tensions and moral dilemmas of working in situations of extreme violence - and the story of the end of apartheid. Num Pages: 336 pages, 16 illustrations. BIC Classification: 1HFMS; AJB; AJCR; BG; HBJH; JPVH. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 197 x 130 x 23. Weight in Grams: 272. . . . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9780099281498

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Book Description Cornerstone. Paperback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, The Bang-bang Club: Snapshots from a Hidden War, Greg Marinovich, Joao Silva, The Bang-Bang Club was a group of four young war photographers, friends and colleagues: Ken Oosterbroek, Kevin Carter, Greg Marinovich and Joao Silva, war correspondants during the last years of apartheid, who took many of the photographs that encapsulate the final violent years of racist white South Africa. Two of them won Pulitzer Prizes for individual photos. Ken, the oldest and a mentor to the others, died, accidentally shot while working; Kevin, the most troubled of the four, committed suicide weeks after winning his Pulitzer for a photograph of a starving baby in the Sudanese famine. Written by Greg and Joao, The Bang-Bang Club tells their uniquely powerful war stories. It tells the story of four remarkable young men, the stresses, tensions and moral dilemmas of working in situations of extreme violence, pain and suffering, the relationships between the four and the story of the end of apartheid. An immensely powerful, riveting and harrowing book, and an invakuable contribution to the literary genre of war photography. An eye-opening book for readers of Susan Sontag. Bookseller Inventory # B9780099281498

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