Susie Linfield
[Writer and critic, New York, lives in New York.]

 Without a political context, it is impossible to understand a photograph. This is true even—or especially—of political photographs themselves. 

Justine Kurland
[Photographer, b. 1969, Warsaw, New York, lives mostly on the road.]

 There’s something political about creating a world that you want to exist. 

George
[Artist, b. 1942, Devon, England, lives in London.]

 Our reason for making pictures is to change people and not to congratulate them on being how they are. 

James Nachtwey
[Photographer, b. 1948, Syracuse, New York, lives in New York.]

 The greatest statesmen, philosophers, humanitarians… have not been able to put an end to war. Why place that demand on photography? 

Bill McKibben
[Writer, b. 1960, Palo Alto, California, lives near Lake Chanokaub, New York.]

 ... the constant flow of images undercuts the sense that there’s actually something wrong with the world. How can there really be a shortage of whooping cranes when you’ve seen a thousand images of them—seen ten times more images than there are actually whooping cranes left in the wild? 

Chester Higgins
[Photographer, b. 1946, Lexington, Kentucky, lives in Brooklyn, New York.]

 I had a choice: I could wail against the racism of the [prevailing] pictures or I could go and create photographs that would tell a contrary story. 

Gordon Parks
[Photographer and filmmaker, b. 1912, Fort Scott, Kansas, d. 2006, New York.]

 You have a 45mm automatic pistol on your lap, and I have a 35mm camera on my lap, and my weapon is just as powerful as yours. (To Black Panther militant Eldridge Cleaver) 

Susie Linfield
[Writer and critic, New York, lives in New York.]

 …images have become more extreme as political clarity has dissipated; this is, I think, no coincidence…. What happens to documentary photography—to the photography of witness—when it no longer has a politics it can support? 
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