Susan Meiselas
[Photographer, b. 1948, Baltimore, Maryland, lives in New York.]

 I see myself in [the] tradition of encounter and witness—a “witness” that sees the photograph as evidence. 
 It’s a strange experience… the photograph is like an object frozen in time, and people’s lives go on. 
 For a long time I’ve lived with the inadequacy of that frame to tell everything I knew, and I think a lot about what is outside of the frame… 
 Looking at contact sheets, it’s a great set of footprints. Either you got it or you didn’t. You could have gotten it, you should’ve moved. I think you’re plagued with that and then suddenly you find a frame and it just seems to be there, it just seems to know itself and sort of reveal itself. That’s the harmony. 
 It’s difficult now to feel that I can’t make an image to bring the devastation of the war with the contras home, even though I feel a tremendous urgency all the time to do so... It’s not that there haven’t been images made, but the larger sense of an “image” has been defined elsewhere—in Washington, and in the press, by the powers that be. I can’t, we can’t, somehow, reframe it. 
 I don’t know what I’m going to come back with. I don’t go with a checklist. Many times I don’t go on assignment. I just go because I feel like whatever it is that’s happening in that particular place is important. It’s about being a witness to it—documenting it and recording it. In the places I’ve chosen to be, over time it becomes more obvious which of those moments are critical. 
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