Bill Crandall September 17, 2008Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Belarus.
Outside Minsk Belarus, 2000
Bill Crandall‘s formative years in Washington DC were spent with a guitar instead of a camera, but eventually photography became his mode of expression. His photos balance art and documentary, using an intuitive, personal approach. His images have appeared in magazines such as Newsweek, Le Figaro, New York Times Magazine and PHOTO among others. He has also worked for newspapers such as the Washington Post and New York Times on a regular basis. Bill has received two grants for his long-term ‘East’ photo project and won awards from the National Press Photographers Association. From 2000-2002 Bill also worked as photo director for the former Balkan Times website. In 2006 he was curator for a major photo exhibition on the 20th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster, which was presented at a US Congressional event and at the United Nations. Crandall is a founding member of Metro Collective, a group of 12 photographers worldwide who work in the artistic documentary tradition.
About the Photograph:
“This image is from Kuropaty, the former killing fields on the outskirts of Minsk. Every year people come to memorialize the up to 250,000 people killed there in Stalin-era purges. Bodies are still being found. The event is seen by authorities as a rallying point for the opposition, so the KGB usually tags along and films everyone. Like most demonstrations in Belarus, there is risk for those who attend. It was taken on the last day of my first visit to Belarus in 2000. I was exhausted and almost didn’t go, especially considering that it involved a 15km march from the city center to the site. I remember towards the end the light was fading fast, my young fixers were urging me to leave with them. I’m glad I hung around a little longer, for me the image reflects the stoic nature of the people there and their deep sense of history and memory.”