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The Bang-Bang Club: Snapshots from a Hidden War by [Marinovich, Greg, Silva, Joao]
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The Bang-Bang Club: Snapshots from a Hidden War Kindle Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews

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Length: 336 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Amazon.co.uk Review

Ask any foreign editor on a national paper what part of the job gives them the most grief, and you'll almost certainly be told, "the foreign correspondents". Almost without exception, the reporters who bring back the best stories from war zones are neurotic, dysfunctional, paranoid and almost impossible to deal with. And if The Bang-Bang Club is anything to go by, you can include war photographers in the same category. The Bang-Bang Club was the name given to four South African photo-journalists, Greg Marinovich, Joao Silva, Ken Oosterbroek and Kevin Carter, who made a name for themselves going into the townships to capture first-hand the violence that erupted in South Africa between ANC supporters and the predominantly Zulu Inkhata party after the release of Nelson Mandela and prior to the first democratic elections. As a guide to the different factions and as a record of brutality, the book cannot be faulted. The British media predictably only ever reported the more sensational atrocities, and The Bang-Bang Club is a potent reminder of the ever-present violence and hatred that have dominated South African life since the early 1990s. Where the authors are on shakier ground is in the analysis of their own condition. Marinovich writes of the "addiction to adrenaline" in his pursuit of the story, and we do get to hear the downside of the booze, drugs and failed relationships that were a by-product of this addiction. But though Marinovich admits to questioning his motivation in getting up close and personal to the violence, he rather lets himself and the others off the hook with the notion that everything is justified by the importance of the story. This is as maybe, but another interesting line of enquiry might have been to ask whether the photographers' sublimated their own violent urges through their work. In other words, they let the death squads act out their feelings, while still retaining a moral high ground. The Bang-Bang Club exacted a high price of membership; Oosterbroek was killed by a stray bullet, Carter committed suicide and Marinovich was badly wounded and it's certainly not a club I would have been keen to join myself. But whatever you might think of the authors' psychiatric condition, you have to give them credit for exposing the stories that other journalists refused to touch. As The Bang-Bang Club might have said, "It's a dirty job, but someone's got to do it." --John Crace

Amazon Review

Ask any foreign editor on a national paper what part of the job gives them the most grief, and you'll almost certainly be told, "the foreign correspondents". Almost without exception, the reporters who bring back the best stories from war zones are neurotic, dysfunctional, paranoid and almost impossible to deal with. And if The Bang-Bang Club is anything to go by, you can include war photographers in the same category. The Bang-Bang Club was the name given to four South African photo-journalists, Greg Marinovich, Joao Silva, Ken Oosterbroek and Kevin Carter, who made a name for themselves going into the townships to capture first-hand the violence that erupted in South Africa between ANC supporters and the predominantly Zulu Inkhata party after the release of Nelson Mandela and prior to the first democratic elections. As a guide to the different factions and as a record of brutality, the book cannot be faulted. The British media predictably only ever reported the more sensational atrocities, and The Bang-Bang Club is a potent reminder of the ever-present violence and hatred that have dominated South African life since the early 1990s. Where the authors are on shakier ground is in the analysis of their own condition. Marinovich writes of the "addiction to adrenaline" in his pursuit of the story, and we do get to hear the downside of the booze, drugs and failed relationships that were a by-product of this addiction. But though Marinovich admits to questioning his motivation in getting up close and personal to the violence, he rather lets himself and the others off the hook with the notion that everything is justified by the importance of the story. This is as maybe, but another interesting line of enquiry might have been to ask whether the photographers' sublimated their own violent urges through their work. In other words, they let the death squads act out their feelings, while still retaining a moral high ground. The Bang-Bang Club exacted a high price of membership; Oosterbroek was killed by a stray bullet, Carter committed suicide and Marinovich was badly wounded and it's certainly not a club I would have been keen to join myself. But whatever you might think of the authors' psychiatric condition, you have to give them credit for exposing the stories that other journalists refused to touch. As The Bang-Bang Club might have said, "It's a dirty job, but someone's got to do it." --John Crace

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 10752 KB
  • Print Length: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Cornerstone Digital; New Ed edition (30 Nov. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009NH74H8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #118,157 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback
The Bang Bang Club is the story of four young South African photographers who developed an uncanny skill and reputation for coverage of the bloody events that marked the country's transition from apartheid to majority rule. It is an exciting, gripping, 'heart in the mouth' read.
The book has two tracks; the development of the four men from varied and, in some cases, dysfunctional backgrounds, to prominence in their chosen profession. Along the way, they were drawn to each other because of their skills, their drive and ambition. Sometimes they worked together, but always their was a sense of competition, as evidenced by the frustration Jaoa Silva experienced at missing the shot that won Kevin Carter a Pullitzer prize - a vulture sitting in the Namibian bush, watching and waiting for a very young boy to die. Together they tried to come to terms with the enormity of the events that they were covering and also their role as chroniclers. Carter's drug problem and suicide came about because of an inability to deal with the emotional stresses.
On another level, the Bang Bang Club provides an explanation of how the country came to be at war with itself between 1990 and 1994, and the role of the incumbent white regime (trying to spread dissension); the ANC (negotiating with the government) and the Inkatha movement, representing the Zulu tribe and the country's transient hostel labour force. Marinovich's antipathy to the system of white rule is clearly expressed, but it does not get in the way of an objective narration or recording of events.
The book is also quite disturbing, leaving the reader to deal with a number of uncomfortable thoughts.
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Format: Paperback
I found 'The Bang-Bang Club' a very powerful and moving book. It gives a personal and honest view of a difficult period in all the authors’ life with the backdrop of a chaotic and disturbing period in world history. The book is jointly written by two photographers but follows the life’s of four photographers mainly constricting on there joint time in South Africa. I started the book thinking that they were heroes, the pictures that they took were horrifying and they rest they life’s to let the world see what was happening. The book adds depth to this view, it turns the heroes into real people with there own problems. It show how they coupled with death on a daily basis, they thought they were invincible. This changes when a stray bullet shoots one of the group. They then have to try and deal with there own problems, in there own way, some manage some do not. The fact that the amazing photos were not taken by ‘heroes’ but real people makes their photos more powerful not less. I found the book fascinating not only for adding an other view to the conflict in South Africa but also giving me insight into what these amazing people go though. A must read for anyone who wants to try and under people better (that I hope is everyone!)
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Format: Hardcover
This is undoubtably the best read, its honesty and real life actions ans accounts captivated me! Having grown up in Africa i have never come accross a book which has told the whole or real truth of events.
It keeps you engrossed throughout every page and helps people really widen their knowledge of circumstances occuring around the world.
A fantastic account from two surviving friends in a job which...well some one has to do to allow for the world to keep in touch with reality.
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This is a truly great book, revealing, heart rending, occasionally horrifying but genuinely written. This tells the tale of a small group of photographers who made their names photographing the street battles that broke out in the townships of Johannesburg. It also gives insights into the complex politics that grasped South Arica during the time after Mandela's release. I couldn't put it down.
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Format: Paperback
Shew! What to say. Being South African myself and growing up in the time this book was written, it really opened my eyes. We, ourselves, were well aware of the violence that was taking place in South Africa, but were not exposed to it and therefore had no actual understanding of the situation.

This book really gets into the lives and the trauma caused by the political strife occurring in SA between 1990 and 1994. It also gives you a new found respect for the jounalists/photographers, who put their lives at risk in order to document these circumstances. Learning how they fight their own demons created by the inhumane way humans are capable of treating others.

In all it is written simply which makes it an easy read and highly recommended. I really enjoyed it.
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Format: Hardcover
Usually I'm more into fiction, but this book about four South African war photographers held my attention easily. It is mostly set during Apartied and follows the photographers out into the 'field' and talks about how the work affected their lives. You might remember the moving photograph that won the Pulitzer prize awhile ago of the child in the desert with the vulture sitting behind as if waiting? That picture is in here along with some of the other photograps taken by the men. Two of the four photographers are dead now and the other two collaberated on this book.
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