Marcus Bleasdale

I enjoyed reading the interview with Marcus Bleasdale. First of all, he seems to be a person who is willing to risk all in order to chase his dream, doesn’t give up and has a very clear idea of what kind of photographer he wants to be, his ethics and approach to people.

Bleasdale refers to Joseph Conrad’s book Heart of Darkness. I read the book a few years ago and it made a real impact on me as well.  ‘It’s all about the shadows and the guilt that rests in our mind and he (Bleasdale) challenges us to address that by using the genocide in Congo to question our values and beliefs.’ (Houghton, 2005) What made a real impact on me is the contrasts that Conrad is able to write down how the West is able to cover the poverty and misery in the world in their own societies, while their way of living is directly related to it. The book resists the feeling of superiority that comes from it, showing that although people in The West seem to have be civilized and have everything under control, beneath it is a system of poverty and oppression.

Bleasdale believes in the moral responsibility that the media has to focus, and continue to focus on these issues, forcing the international community to read. (Houghton 2005)

Bleasdale respects the people he photographs, he doesn’t just come in and photograph the first awful scene that comes up, he spends time with his subjects and connects with them. He is aware of the dignity of the people in front of the camera, even when they have lost that.

‘Respect of the people we work with is paramount to the success of the message you as a photographer are trying to get across and that is where the dignity is respected while trying to portray and often hard-hitting subject.’ (Houghton, 2005)

Houghton, M. (2005) ‘Interview with Marcus Bleasdale’, Eight Magazine, December, pp. 68–70.
Conrad, J. (1996) Heart of darkness. Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Library.

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