A journalist and a photographer

Photo by Temo Bardzimashvili

I used to call myself a photojournalist. When my friends and colleagues heard the word “photojournalist,” they thought “photographer for a newspaper.” In the early 1980s, a photojournalist received an assignment from an editor or reporter, traveled to a particular place, at a particular time, and photographed whatever the journalist had requested. A photojournalist primarily worried about HOW to take a GOOD photograph.

These thoughts were stimulated by Temo Bardzimashvili identity as “a Georgian journalist and photographer.” Note that the word “journalist” precedes the word “photographer.” Indeed, Temo is a journalist who reports on social, environmental and ethnographic topics. He spends a lot of time making phone calls and traveling around to learn WHAT to photograph, WHEN to photograph, and WHY these photographs have consequence. He is a journalist who happens to use a camera to “take notes.” Temo’s printed notes (photographs) along with captions become his “story.”

I thoroughly enjoyed Temo’s journalism in a photo exhibition called “The Unpromised Land – the Meskhetians’ Long Journey Home.” Sponsored by the European Centre for Minority Issues, his photographs, accompanied by informative captions in both Georgian and English, appeared at the Literature Museum in Tbilisi. The photographs tell stories about the culture, identity, and religion of Meskhetian communities currently living in Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkey. They also show the history of Meskhetians’ deportation.

Although the exhibition has ended, you can see examples of Temo’s work here http://agency.photographer.ru/authors/index.htm?id=102, and you can read about his work here: http://temobardzimashvili.com/.

Photo by Temo Bardzimashvili

Photo by Temo Bardzimashvili


About keithrkenney
Keith Kenney is a professor of visual communication at the University of South Carolina. He is living in Tbilisi, Georgia, for a year. This blog is about several topics. "CSJMM-Journalism" is about the students, faculty and staff members of the Caucasus School of Journalism and Media Management in Tbilisi, Georgia. "USC-Journalism" is about the students, faculty and staff members of the School of Journalism and Mass Communications (SJMC) at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, SC. CSJMM and SJMC are recipients of a "Journalism School Partnership" program grant from the US Department of State. The purpose of this $750,000 grant is to improve CSJMM and ensure its sustainability. "Tbilisi, Georgia" is about Susanna Melo and my experiences in Tbilisi. "Columbia, SC" will be about our experiences in our home town--Columbia--when we return home. "Georgia" is about Susanna and my experiences when we travel in Georgia outside of Tbilisi. "United States" is about our experiences traveling in the US. "Films and Photography" is about two documentary films I'm working on in Georgia. One story follows how Adishi handles the rapid tourism that is being developed in Svaneti. The other story follows Tamaz Jalagania, who is a craftsman of swords and guns, an opera singer, and an extraordinary storyteller. "Scholarship" is about my current books, articles, reviews, and grants.

3 Responses to A journalist and a photographer

  1. Pingback: Georgia: Return of the Meskhetian Turks · Global Voices

  2. Pingback: Finding their way back home « The Global Reader

  3. Pingback: Georgia: il ritorno dei turchi meskheti · Global Voices in Italiano

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