Black Passport . Stanley Greene



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“I think you can only do this for eight years. For eight years you can still keep the positive. If you stay at it longer than eight years, you turn. And not into a beautiful butterfly. You really turn. I see it in myself, I see it in all my friends and colleagues. I mean they are all victims of post trauma. We’re not the beautiful butterflies anymore.We become moths. We’re like moths flying to the flame. You know, sometimes your wings get singed or you just burn up. Get killed. Or you burn up inside. The drugs and the alcohol and the party and all of this is to push it away, push it away.”

Stanley Greene

Every day the newspapers and magazines are full of photographs depicting war and oppression. But the life of a war photographer is also a fascinating story. For what motivates someone to be confronted with death and misery? To do your work while risking your own life, sometimes literally amidst flying bullets? Does a war photographer see it as a task to lend a voice to the oppressed of the world? Is it political engagement? Or is being a war photographer an escape from the day-to-day reality, a craving for adventure?

Black Passport is the biography of the life of war photographer Stanley Greene. It shows Greene’s war images alternated with private images. The viewer makes acquaintance with Stanley’s friends, his wife (later ex-wife), his female friends and his colleagues. Just as Greene himself, the viewer experiences being tossed to and from between the safe western life and the horrors of wars elsewhere. What effect does this work – the confrontation with horrors – have on his character? How does it influence his relationships, his loved ones and friends?

The basis of Black Passport is, in addition to the photography, a long monologue by Greene. Teun van der Heijden has put this monologue together from rough material that was the result of eight extended interviews, and is presented as a film script, in 26 short scenes. The scenes do not form a sequential story, but are a kaleidoscope of Greene’s key experiences. In the first scene, we meet him for example as an ‘au pair’ in Paris, in scene 20 he bursts into tears following the lynching of two American security officers in the Iraqi Fallujah. The bodies were then set on fire.

With the exception of one flashback, Stanley’s story is told chronologically in the book. The 26 scenes are given shape by 26 photograpic portfolios, each beginning with a short monologue. These monologues are never longer than one page, so that they do not disturb the rhythm of the book. The typography is detached and serves to support the spoken character of the monologue. The editing is filmic, the layout rough as in a sketch book. All photos are displayed on black pages. 

Black Passport Stanley Greene


Nº de páginas: 288 págs.

Editorial: BLUME


Encuadernación: Tapa blanda

ISBN: 9788498014396

ISBN: 9789053306703 17 x 22,5 cm.

Paperback with round edges, passport-like cover.

200 pictures in full colour and duotone

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