Veteran Associated Press photographer, and personal hero, Anja Niedringhaus was killed and an AP reporter wounded Friday when an Afghan policeman opened fire while they were sitting in their car in eastern Afghanistan. As EPA’s Chief Photographer, Niedringhaus spent the first 10 years of her career covering the wars in the former Yugoslavia. She was the only woman on a team of 11 AP photographers awarded the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for breaking news photography.
Although Niedringhaus leaves behind a body of work that won awards and broke hearts, her sacrifice is too high a price to pay.
In his darkroom he is finally alone with spools of suffering set out in ordered rows. The only light is red and softly glows, as though this were a church and he a priest preparing to intone a Mass. Belfast. Beirut. Phnom Penh. All flesh is grass.
He has a job to do. Solutions slop in trays beneath his hands which did not tremble then though seem to now. Rural England. Home again to ordinary pain which simple weather can dispel, to fields which don’t explode beneath the feet of running children in a nightmare heat.
Something is happening. A stranger’s features faintly start to twist before his eyes, a half-formed ghost. He remembers the cries of this man’s wife, how he sought approval without words to do what someone must and how the blood stained into foreign dust.
A hundred agonies in black-and-white from which his editor will pick out five or six for Sunday’s supplement. The reader’s eyeballs prick with tears between bath and pre-lunch beers. From aeroplane he stares impassively at where he earns a living and they do not care. - War Photographer by Ann Duffy