sponsored links
TED Prize Wish

James Nachtwey: Moving photos of extreme drug-resistant TB

October 3, 2008

Photojournalist James Nachtwey sees his TED Prize wish come true, as we share his powerful photographs of XDR-TB, a drug-resistant strain of tuberculosis that's touching off a global medical crisis.

James Nachtwey - Photojournalist
Photojournalist James Nachtwey is considered by many to be the greatest war photographer of recent decades. He has covered conflicts and major social issues in more than 30 countries. Full bio

sponsored links
Double-click the English subtitles below to play the video.
I was a student in the '60s, a time of social upheaval and questioning,
00:12
and -- on a personal level -- an awakening sense of idealism.
00:17
The war in Vietnam was raging, the Civil Rights movement was under way
00:22
and pictures had a powerful influence on me.
00:26
Our political and military leaders were telling us one thing
00:29
and photographers were telling us another.
00:33
I believed the photographers and so did millions of other Americans.
00:36
Their images fuelled resistance to the war and to racism.
00:40
They not only recorded history -- they helped change the course of history.
00:44
Their pictures became part of our collective consciousness
00:49
and, as consciousness evolved into a shared sense of conscience,
00:53
change became not only possible, but inevitable.
00:56
It puts a human face on issues which, from afar,
01:00
can appear abstract or ideological or monumental in their global impact.
01:04
What happens at ground level, far from the halls of power,
01:09
happens to ordinary citizens one by one.
01:14
And I understood that documentary photography
01:17
has the ability to interpret events from their point of view.
01:19
It gives a voice to those who otherwise would not have a voice.
01:24
My TED wish. There’s a vital story that needs to be told
01:28
and I wish for TED to help me gain access to it
01:33
and then to help me come up with innovative and exciting ways
01:37
to use news photography in the digital era.
01:41
Thank you very much.
01:44
[ 10.3.08 -- The story breaks. ]
01:50
[ "I have been a witness, and these pictures are my testimony." ]
01:57
[ South Africa ]
02:03
[ This is happening now. ]
02:21
[ Cambodia ]
02:24
[ Swaziland ]
02:39
[ One person dies every 20 seconds. ]
02:52
[ Thailand ]
02:56
[ An ancient disease is taking on a deadly new form. ]
03:10
[ Siberia ]
03:14
[ Lesotho ]
03:26
[ Tuberculosis: the next pandemic? ]
03:38
[ India ]
03:42
[ TB is preventable and curable, ]
03:55
[ but it is mutating due to inadequate treatment. ]
04:03
[ XDR-TB: ]
04:12
[ extreme drug resistant tuberculosis. ]
04:14
[ There is no reliable cure. ]
04:19
[ Patients often die within weeks of diagnosis. ]
04:27
[ 49 countries have reported XDR-TB. ]
04:34
[ XDR-TB is a critical threat to global health. ]
04:41
[ Extreme outbreak, suffering, affliction ]
04:49
[ Extreme loss, pain, pandemic ]
04:51
[ Extremely preventable. ]
04:58
[ XDR-TB. ]
05:02
[ We can stop this now. ]
05:08
[ Spread the story. Stop the disease. ]
05:15
[ Go to XDRTB.org now. ]
05:21
[ XDRTB.org: we are the treatment. ]
05:24
[ We are the treatment. ]
05:29
[ Made possible through the kind support of BD. ]
05:33

sponsored links

James Nachtwey - Photojournalist
Photojournalist James Nachtwey is considered by many to be the greatest war photographer of recent decades. He has covered conflicts and major social issues in more than 30 countries.

Why you should listen

For the past three decades, James Nachtwey has devoted himself to documenting wars, conflicts and critical social issues, working in El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Lebanon, the West Bank and Gaza, Israel, Indonesia, Thailand, India, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, the Philippines, South Korea, Somalia, Sudan, Rwanda, South Africa, Russia, Bosnia, Chechnya, Kosovo, Romania, Brazil and the United States.

Nachtwey has been a contract photographer with Time since 1984. However, when certain stories he wanted to cover -- such as Romanian orphanages and famine in Somalia -- garnered no interest from magazines, he self-financed trips there. He is known for getting up close to his subjects, or as he says, "in the same intimate space that the subjects inhabit," and he passes that sense of closeness on to the viewer.

In putting himself in the middle of conflict, his intention is to record the truth, to document the struggles of humanity, and with this, to wake people up and stir them to action.

sponsored links

If you need translations, you can install "Google Translate" extension into your Chrome Browser.
Furthermore, you can change playback rate by installing "Video Speed Controller" extension.

Data provided by TED.

This website is owned and operated by Tokyo English Network.
The developer's blog is here.