9/11 by James Nachtwey


One of the most influential living photographers today is American James Nachtwey, who had captured tumultuous events in South Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, Russia, Eastern Europe, and the former Soviet Union. He shot pictures of war, conflict and famine, and images of socio-political issues (pollution, crime and punishment). He won coveted Robert Capa Gold Medal an unprecedented 5 times.

Nachtwey was one of the first photographers to respond to the events of 9/11 because he lives just a few blocks away from the World Trade Center site. His above photo captures the moment when the South Tower collapsed; even in that early moments of War on Terror, Nachtwey saw the comforting presence of a religious icon and also the conflict between the Judeo-Christian West and the Islamic Middle East. The photo was the centrepiece of his photoessay, Shattered.

See his TED talk here.

9 thoughts on “9/11 by James Nachtwey”

  1. I never saw this picture until now. I live a few blocks from WTC and I walked by this bldg every day for years. I used to describe it to people who asked me about the site.

    The actual site was nothing but a big junkyard, and for years after just a hole. But this bldg, and the exact spot of this blast was incredibly interesting because the outer wall was blown out (as you see above) but the inside was almost entirely intact. It looked almost like a film set — 3 walls w/ the 4th peeled away — and you could see inside (for years!) everything as it was on the morning of 9/11/2001: desks with facing desk chairs, computer monitors on the desks, file cabinets, etc.

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