Lewis Hine -Power house mechanic working on steam
In the time that post-modernism has brought about a chaotic condition for the process of art and has smashed everything in its confusion, it must be too soon to talk about humanitarian photography. Should we wait some more years to lapse in order that the storm of confusion in our minds might die out or a safe coast for improvement in the process which since art began in the shape of figures on the walls of caves, might appear ?Or should we take a role and have a fair judgment of our own status?
Primitive man started painting and carving to provide a way for his need , that is communicating with others. This phenomenon has improved till now in innumerable variety of forms such as poetry, painting, sculpture, photography, music etc. and has exerted its rules and regulations in theory in all artistic approaches from classicism to cubism, sur-realism to post-modernism, and deconstructionalism. Man has always wanted to pave the way to communicate with others, whatever the medium. In fact the various attempts made, apart from the medium which has been chosen, follow one common theme which is the aim of all these efforts, and it’s human. We now benefit from the presence of creative minds which evolve the aesthetic aspect of photography more than we benefit from the improvement made in technology and producing of photographic appliances. Along with this aesthetical aspect it has, in the course of centuries accompanied with man’s culture and art, improved photographer’s idealistic and humanitarian view and has upgraded his identity. In the course of cultural life of man, photography has had an expressive quality which, with the help of professional photographic experience, can found the ideology of humanitarianism.
A photographer perpetuates moments throughout history by recording them, and his work which is plane and still can recall history and correct man’s position. Here the lens of the camera is not a window through which a landscape, society and nature could be seen, but the photographer can, by presenting his personal feelings, bring about a new unit, thus expand his hidden thoughts and the effects of beauty. The photograph, though only a symbol, shows the photographer’s view on human condition which is praiseworthy in itself.
Photography like other inventions, enables man to communicate with others more extensively and is a universal language. To converse in such a language, if used simple and clarified , can cause a deeper, more friendly and useful communication.
We can take pictorial photographs like the ones taken by Henry Peach Robinson (1836-1910) and George Davison (1857-1931) or give more value to photographic identity as Oscar G Rejlander (1813-1875) did in the second half of 19th century .
We can also help create an independent identity for photography and put it at our own and ideal’s disposal as did Eugene Ateget (1890-1976),Alfred Stieglitz (1864-1946) and Paul strand (1890-1976).
Through holding the exhibition of < Family of Man> by E. Steichen (1879-1973) in New York museum of modern arts displaying works by August Sander (1876-1964), Walker Evans (1903-1975), Henry Cartier Bresson (1908…..) and many of the young photographers following them, personal and social views were blended.
The time has come now to change and promote the <Decisive Moment> of Cartier Bresson as a moment in which plane reality is to be recorded to one in which the role of a photographer changes to a humanitarian one.
The outstanding characteristic of these works is not <capturing flying moments>, but by magical power of photograph , a photographer is enabled to take a more active role and that is providing human prestige and safety of the family of man through humanitarian views.
He should also try to record something in any form such as documentary photography, photo journalism, or the latest forms of photography to reveal fictions , myths, imaginary and fanciful events and mental ones, so that beyond his work a humane photographer and humanitarian photography could be visible and shine in such a way to guarantee the life of photography and its theme, contents and its subject matter.