Photojournalists speak about danger on the job

Mr Richardson said he lives "like a refugee" as he follows them, in his "Covering The Refugee And Migrant Crisis" talk.
Mr Richardson said he lives "like a refugee" as he follows them, in his "Covering The Refugee And Migrant Crisis" talk.PHOTO: MARCUS TAN FOR THE SUNDAY TIMES

Award-winning photojournalists Warren Richardson and Kazuma Obara have both put themselves in dangerous situations.

Mr Richardson sometimes "lives like a refugee" as he follows them on their difficult journeys through Europe, while Mr Obara has spent time speaking to the workers at the nuclear power plant in Fukushima.

Asked why he chose to cover these stories, Mr Richardson said: "I'm going to try to get pictures of (refugees getting beaten at a border) because I'd like to stop it."

The two photojournalists gave talks yesterday, the second and third sessions, in a series held in conjunction with the 2016 World Press Photo (WPP) exhibition presented by The Straits Times.

Mr Richardson spoke on "Covering The Refugee And Migrant Crisis" and drew questions from audience members about how he balances family and work.

Based in Hungary with his wife and son, Mr Richardson admitted there were moments that remind him of them.

"I just get on with it because if I get caught in that moment, I'd be jumping on the next train home," he said.

"As long as they're safe, that's the main thing."

Mr Obara, who has worked on a few projects to do with nuclear activity, spoke on the topic "How To Reveal Invisible People/Time/ Space And Pain With Visual Storytelling".

He explained that radiation is invisible and its effects, while visible, are sometimes hidden due to fear of discrimination or the authorities.

"The workers in the Fukushima nuclear plant did not dare to speak up, even though they were working in unsafe conditions," he said.

Ms Angelita Teo, director of the National Museum of Singapore, said: "Photojournalists in their quest for truth and to capture the real story are beyond brave."

The museum is the official venue supporter for the WPP exhibition for the third year running.

Educator Michael Au, 47, who attended the panel discussion on Friday and both talks yesterday, said the speakers were "very compelling and we get a look at the layers beyond what we see in the photo".

ST photojournalists Mark Cheong and Caroline Chia will give the next talk, "A Photojournalist's Life: The Good, The Bad And The Not So Ugly", on March 12.

At talks on March 19 and 25, ST photojournalists Neo Xiaobin and Kevin Lim will share their experiences.

There will also be guided tours every Saturday and Sunday at 10am and 12.30pm until the exhibition ends on March 26. The tours are conducted by retired teacher Olivia Jacob.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on March 05, 2017, with the headline 'Photojournalists speak about danger on the job'. Print Edition | Subscribe