Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Moises Saman: Machu Picchu

Photograph © Moises Saman-All Rights Reserved

I noticed that The New York Times' featured a slideshow of Machu Picchu's photographs by Moises Saman, who's better known as a conflict photographer, having covered the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as well as the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The slideshow is titled The Lost City of the Incas while the accompanying article is written by Simon Romero.

The article's premise is that while Hiram Bingham (a model for the fictional Indiana Jones) has always been credited with discovering the Incan city of Machu Picchu in 1911, evidence has emerged that a German adventurer may have preceded him. Some records show that the German adventurer bought land in the area in the 1860s. It's an interesting read for those who feel (like I do) that many countries' heritage and patrimony have been pillaged by colonizing Western powers (especially European). For instance, I read that Ethiopia is now demanding that Britain’s museums return some of its most significant religious treasures and artifacts, including the Ethiopian royal crown, 140 years after they were looted by marauding British troops.

As for Moises Saman, he became a staff photographer at New York Newsday from 2000-07, and is currently a freelance photographer based in Brooklyn, New York. His work received many awards and recognitions, including in the 2007 World Press Photo contest and the UNICEF Photo of the Year awards. He also received a World Press Photo award for his coverage of the presidential elections in Haiti, as well as being named Photographer of the Year by the New York Press Photographers Association.