David Goldblatt
[Photographer, b. 1930, Randfontein, South Africa, lives in Johannesburg.]

 In an obvious sense, photographers, by virtue of being there and ‘recording’ the scene, are witnesses and their work becomes evidence in an almost forensic sense. 

Lucas Samaras
[Artist, b. 1936, Kastoria, Greece, lives in New York.]

 Photography is the best way to depict the idea that you existed. You don’t have to say that nature is aware of your existence, that God knows you are here. The camera gives you proof that you have lived at least once. 

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

 The Abu Ghraib images—digital images, taken by amateurs—have strengthened, not undermined, the status of photographs as documents of the real. No written account of the tortures could have made such an impact. 

Jim Goldberg
[Photographer, b. 1953, New Haven, Connecticut, lives in San Francisco.]

 [A photograph] is a part of the evidence. I’m not saying it’s the truth—it’s part of the evidence. 

Nick Knight
[Photographer, b. 1958, London, England, lives in London.]

 I think photography has been wrestling with a burden of telling the truth, which I don’t think it was ever particularly good at. 

Martin Luther King
[Civil rights leader, religious leader, b. 1929, Atlanta, Georgia, d. 1968, Memphis, Tennessee.]

 I’m not being cold blooded about it, but it is so much more important for you to take a picture of us getting beaten up than for you to be another person joining in the fray. (To photographer Flip Schulke at a civil rights march.) 

Paul Valéry
[Writer and poet, b. 1871, Sète, France, d. 1945, Paris.]

 The mere notion of photography, when we introduce it into our meditation on the genesis of historical knowledge and its true value, suggests the simple question: Could such and such a fact, as it is narrated here, have been photographed? 

Judith Butler
[Philosopher and theorist, b. 1956, Cleveland, Ohio, lives in Berkeley, California.]

 The critical image... must not only fail to capture its referent, but show its failure. 
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