Remembering slain photojournalist Danish Siddiqui

Danish Siddiqui was killed on Friday (July 16, 2021) while covering a clash between Afghan security forces and Taliban fighters near a border crossing with Pakistan, according to an Afghan commander.

In 2020, speaking at a TEDxGateway event, he talked about his approach to photography and reporting.

“As a photojournalist I have the privilege to witness humanity at its best and at its worst and everything in between. My role is as a mirror, and I want to expose you to the raw truth and make you a witness to it. You can look away or stand up and act for change.”

On the subject of one of his images of a Rohingya woman fleeing Myanmar, an image that helped win the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography for Reuters, Siddiqui said:

“I photographed her only for a few moments and then left her with the sound of waves. I didn’t want her to hear my camera shutter. I just wanted her to feel at peace before getting ready for another fight for survival at the refugee camp.”

More recently he documented the devastating effect of the Covid pandemic on his native India, and the difficulties of covering such human suffering in a compassionate manner.

"There are technical challenges and then there are emotional challenges. Technical challenges are how to showcase this story in a dignified way, you know, and in a way that like people are. You don't go too close to it so that the dignity of the victim or the family is maintained. But you also need to show the story, which is to show the scale of the devastation by this pandemic."

Danish Siddiqui, 1983-2021.

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