Tuesday, March 18, 2008

George Rodger

"Good photography is based on truth an integrity."

That's the motto that greets visitors to the exhibition of the photographs of George Rodger at the Imperial War Museum North at Salford Quays.

George made his name working initially for life magazine,photographing wartime scenes in the UK.

The exhibition shows aspects of his work.How the US watches the war features photos of American journalists in 1940.One stands out-RIP-Here lies three Pressman who died waiting.A reporter sits slumped behind sand bags at Dover,wearing a tin hat and glasses,his colleague peers over.Another photo shows a reporter flat out on a bench,a copy of Evelyn Waugh's Decline and Fall covering his face.

He documented the blitz,one photograph shows Londoners making their way to a shelter as German planes approach,a pensioner waves his stick at the approaching planes,there are worried looks on his companions as they look anxiously at the sky.A small boy carries his younger sister.

George took off for 2 years travelling from Africa thru the Middle East,Burma and China.He captures the fall of Rangoon in May 1942.

He is with American forces as they invade Italy,two haunting images from this period,a heavily pregnant women is queuing for water in Naples and in the second coffins are laid out,in the background Mount Vesuvius.

Then he follows the allies thru Normandy, Henri Cartier-Bresson captures him perched on a tank as Paris is liberated.

And he is there as Belsen is liberated,it is his duty to take pictures to show the world what really happened.

After the war he founded the Magnum along with Robert Capa, Henri Cartier-Bresson and David 'Chim' Seymour.His work mainly covered Africa.He died in 1995

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