Numbed as we are to the selective war-imagery that we encounter day after day on the news and in newspapers – which is often filmed and chosen in order to serve political ends rather than to encourage awareness and action – real documentary photography, the kind that is truthful and raw and affecting, can often stop you dead in your tracks.
David Brunetti is one such photographer. A photojournalist who specialises in humanitarian issues surrounding conflict, his images focus on the liminality of borders and the difficulties of those trying to traverse them. in Crossing Jordan, for example, he captures the laborious journeys of Syrians seeking refuge from the country’s tumultuous goings-on, carrying enormous cardboard boxes over invisible divides in the dead of night, while Mohammed documents the photographs treasured by families, of fathers, brothers and sons they have lost to war.
We were especially awestruck by Deadlock, a series of images taken in Palestine. While initially they seem to share just their setting, in fact they are loosely strung together by the theme of immobility which afflicts those attempting to travel. The photographs depict citizens waiting to cross at borders, struggling to pass through roads and children climbing barricades to gaze over the top at what lies on the other side. Poignant and awe-inspiring, they will remain etched into your mind long after you look away.