Following on from his controversial video about Steve McCurry’s iconic Afghan Girl video, Tony Northrup has published an update on YouTube, and the original video is now online again.
Northrup's first piece sparked considerable debate in the photographic community, and no doubt this update will bring further discussions. In my original article, I personally should have presented Northrup’s video as a version of what happened, rather than offering it as a new narrative that transcended a previous one. The title should have had a question mark and the concept of what constitutes truth should have been subject to much greater scrutiny. I apologize for having presented Northrup’s video as fact rather treating it as a version of events based on research and then letting others decide its integrity.
As consumers of information, we should continue to question how information has been gathered, whether it stands up to proper scrutiny, and whether we need to be more critical in the manner that we choose to share that information. Photographer Ted Forbes recently published this excellent video that discusses how contemporary news media functions, why it sometimes has a tendency to fall short, and why it’s important to acknowledge publicly when things should have been done differently.
My personal earnings from these two articles will be donated to Afghanaid, a British charity that has been working with refugees in Afghanistan since 1983.