Podcast: Conflict Photography - Motivation and Consequence


On this episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we welcome neuropsychiatrist Anthony Feinstein, and the Director of Editorial Content at Adobe, Santiago Lyon, to discuss Feinstein’s latest book Shooting War.

“What makes a person choose a profession in which they know that scores of their colleagues, some of them friends, will be killed each year, while hundreds of other colleagues will be arrested and some will go missing, never to be found? Why choose a profession that entails running toward grave danger while those around you flee from it? If you can answer these questions, you begin to gain insight into the complex world of frontline journalists.”

The above paragraph begins the profile of Santiago Lyon in Shooting War, and provides an apt summary for our own episode. We discuss the motivations that drive photographers to cover war, as well as facing the consequences to their physical, psychological, and emotional health. Feinstein brings his years of clinical experience studying the effects of war on journalists and Lyon adds insight from his personal experiences as a conflict photographer and editor. Of course, we also discuss the research that went into the making of the book, and Feinstein relates the experiences of several of the photographers mentioned in his book.

Anthony Feinstein is professor of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto. He has authored a series of seminal studies exploring the psychological effects of conflict on journalists, including Journalists Under Fire and Battle Scarred, and is a Guggenheim fellow. The 2012 documentary, Under Fire, is based on his research and won a Peabody Award.

Prior to his position at Adobe, Lyon was Director of Photography at The Associate Press and a respected photojournalist who covered conflicts in Latin America, the Balkans, Afghanistan, and Somalia. As an editor at AP, he led teams that earned Pulitzer Prizes on three different occasions. He is one of eighteen photographers profiled in Shooting War. Join us for this powerful episode.

Guests: Anthony Feinstein and Santiago Lyon

Above photograph © Tim Hetherington/MAGNUM

Réfugiés Rwandais, camp de Benako, Tanzanie, 1994 © Sebastião Salgado. Reproduced by permission from Sebastião Salgado
from Blood and Honey © Ron Haviv. Reproduced by permission from Redux Pictures
© Ashley Gilbertson. Reproduced by permission from Ashley Gilbertson/ VII Agency
Two Girls Greeting Soldiers in Kosovo © Alexandra Boulat. Reproduced by permission from Association Pierre & Alexandra Boulat
© Tim Hetherington. Courtesy Tim Hetherington/ MAGNUM
Shooting War © John Harris
Santiago Lyon © John Harris
Santiago Lyon and Anthony Feinstein © Allan Weitz
Santiago Lyon and Anthony Feinstein © John Harris
Santiago Lyon, Allan Weitz, and Anthony Feinstein © John Harris


Host: Allan Weitz
Senior Creative Producer: John Harris
Senior Producer: Jason Tables
Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves