Photography that Informs: Kosuke Okahara & James Nachtwey

Photography that Informs: Kosuke Okahara & James Nachtwey

Photography can be social. It can help us remember events in our life that we shared with others. But photography can also be informative, and in the case of photojournalism, often the goal is to be transformative — i.e. to bring awareness to a social issue that might be flying under the radar.

Kosuke Okahara is a 2006 Eddie Adams Workshop alumnus based in Tokyo who recently covered the trend of “cutting” amongst teenage girls and young women in the society for Time magazine. Japan has a pretty spotty record dealing with their burgeoning social issues that is plaguing a hyper-polite, once dominant economic power that has floundered for many years. Okahara’s work is eye-opening and distrubing, and points to the need for better social structures and mental health capabilities within society.


Photo by Kosuke Okahara

Photojournalist James Nachtwey also revealed his project that was funded in part by his TED grant. Nachtwey has witnessed such a broad range of man’s attrocities, so it’s significant that he thought that XDR TB (extremely drug-resistant Tuberculosis) was worthy of his focus for such a prolonged duration. But when you read about the spread of this disease, you can begin to appreciate that something that seems like a problem of eastern European prisons can impact our global world quickly and violently.

Photo by James Nachtwey

The photos are difficult to look at, but at the same time, they elucidate some harsh truths about the world we live in. Hats off, gentlemen.

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Allen Murabayashi is the Chairman and co-founder of PhotoShelter.

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