Witness: A World in Conflict Through a Lens is a 4-part documentary series by HBO Documentary Films that will be out on DVD on May 7. The series covers three documentary photographers as they go into conflict zones: Eros Hoagland who photographs drug-trafficking violence in Juarez, Mexico, and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Michael Christopher Brown who focuses on ethnic tensions after the Gaddafi era; and Véronique de Viguerie who follows the Arrow Boys’ struggle against General Kony in South Sudan.
I had the opportunity to watch the series over the weekend, and I thought it was really well done. (By the way, it was executive produced by Michael Mann.) Though all four parts were interesting, I was most drawn in by the story of Véronique de Viguerie. Her journey, commitment to her subjects, and photographic style were inspiring. The photojournalists address the complexity of the conflicts, and they also question the cost of their work as they consider what they hope to achieve with their images. This honesty and extreme dedication to bringing these issues to light is thought-provoking.