The Bang Bang Club

The Bang Bang Club

Greg Marinovich João Silva / Feb 16, 2020

The Bang Bang Club Most people upon hearing gunfire would run away and hide Conflict photojournalists have the opposite reaction they actually look for trouble and when they find it get as close as possible and stan

  • Title: The Bang Bang Club
  • Author: Greg Marinovich João Silva
  • ISBN: 9780465044139
  • Page: 435
  • Format: Paperback
  • Most people, upon hearing gunfire, would run away and hide Conflict photojournalists have the opposite reaction they actually look for trouble, and when they find it, get as close as possible and stand up to get the best shot This thirst for the shot and the seeming nonchalance to the risks entailed earned Greg Marinovich, Joao Silva, Ken Oosterbroek, and Kevin Carter tMost people, upon hearing gunfire, would run away and hide Conflict photojournalists have the opposite reaction they actually look for trouble, and when they find it, get as close as possible and stand up to get the best shot This thirst for the shot and the seeming nonchalance to the risks entailed earned Greg Marinovich, Joao Silva, Ken Oosterbroek, and Kevin Carter the moniker of the Bang Bang Club Oosterbroek was killed in township violence just days before South Africa s historic panracial elections Carter, whose picture of a Sudanese child apparently being stalked by a vulture won him a Pulitzer Prize, killed himself shortly afterwards Another of their posse, Gary Bernard, who had held Oosterbroek as he died, also committed suicide The Bang Bang Club is a memoir of a time of rivalry, comradeship, machismo, and exhilaration experienced by a band of young South African photographers as they documented their country s transition to democracy We forget too easily the political and ethnic violence that wracked South Africa as apartheid died a slow, spasmodic death Supporters of the ANC and Inkatha fought bloody battles every day The white security forces were complicit in fomenting and enabling some of the worst violence All the while, the Bang Bang Club took pictures And while they did, they were faced with the moral dilemma of how far they should go in pursuit of an image, and whether there was a point at which they should stop their shooting and try to intervene This is a riveting and appalling book It is simply written these guys are photographers, not writers but extremely engaging They were adrenaline junkies who partied hard and prized the shot above all else None of them was a hero these men come across as overweeningly ambitious, egotistical, reckless, and selfish, though also brave and even principled As South Africans, they were all invested in their country s future, even though, as whites, they were strangers in their own land as they covered the Hostel wars in the black townships The mixture of the romantic appeal of the war correspondent with honest assessments of their personal failings is part of what makes this account so compelling and so singular among books of its ilk J Riches

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    About "Greg Marinovich João Silva"

      • Greg Marinovich João Silva

        Greg Marinovich João Silva Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the The Bang Bang Club book, this is one of the most wanted Greg Marinovich João Silva author readers around the world.


    1. The sentence that best summarizes this poignant read for me is from page 153, "Good pictures. Tragedy and violence certainly make powerful images. It is what we get paid for. But there is a price extracted with every such frame: some of the emotion, the vulnerability, the empathy that makes us human, is lost every time the shutter is released." Although you won't know this while reading, it perhaps explains why Greg Marinovich is no longer shooting conflict. While this book is the story of deep [...]

    2. You might end you up with a pink slip if you start reading this Book in a working day. Absolutely recommended on your day off. The Bang Bang Club is a thrilling account of the four photojournalists who worked and have fun together during last days of apartheid. In this book I have learned more about Kelving Carter, a photographer among the four who took the famous picture of a vulture that seemed to stalk a starving Child in South Sudan. The photograph made Kelvin get the Pultizer award. He late [...]

    3. This is an easy read about four photographers in South Africa who photographed the township wars between the political parties the ANC and Inkatha. These wars occured in the early 90s as the country geared up for its first democratic elections in 1994. The book is also an interesting treatment of the moral problems associated with artists (like photographers) whose jobs demand that they witness people's pain but do little more than be a witness of it.

    4. A phenomenal book. Taken from the perspective of war photographers who are there to capture the last, bloody days of Apartheid in South Africa. This book provides more than sufficient background on the history behind Apartheid, without overwhelming the reader. The toll that this conflict took on these 4 photogs and on everyday folks in South Africa is artfully presented in the bang bang club.

    5. Once again I have returned to the world of Autobiographies this time with infamous Bang Bang Club of South Africa. A name I would point out not of there own coshing but one given to them by a fellow journalist. Going into this book I knew little of apartheid and the events that took place in South Africa in the early nineties. What led me to read this book was a picture that many people have seen the world over. One that had haunted me ever since I had seen it many years ago. It wasn't however u [...]

    6. I got this at a book swap a few months ago. I had overlooked it initially, but as we got to the end of the swap and most of the books had been picked, I read the back cover and thought "why not?" I wasn't paying for it after all. And I'm so glad I did, because this book is a raw, detailed, retelling of the lives of four photographers (the so called "BangBang Club" because they always seemed to show up where the bangbang, aka violence, was happening) in the waning years of apartheid S. Africa. Re [...]

    7. Powerful narrative of South Africa's struggle from war photographers' perspective. I bought this book last year when I visited South Africa for the first time, but I just so wish to have have read this before my visit. Although I was familiar with Kevin Carter's photo of a Sudanese child with a vulture in the background, which was also brought up in one of the lectures I have taken at university, I now feel that the photo shan't be discussed without taking this book into account.

    8. I took a visual journalism class at Boston University with Greg Marinovich last year. As happens with many of the teachers and instructors I’ve encounter in your life, I did really know much about him as a person. All I knew what was in front of me: Here was a man who walked with a funny gait and spoke with a foreign accent but explained the fundamentals of photography like no one I’ve ever met. He was personable yet encouraging, pushing people to strive for things that he knew was within th [...]

    9. This one is pretty rough, but very worth the time.Told by those who lived it, it's the story of the group of photographers that became internationally recognized for their photos of war torn Africa, primarily the unrest leading to the eventual end of apartheid in South Africa. We've all seen their photos of starving children, of mobs burning men alive. They're photos that are hard to look at and these guys stood RIGHT THERE and took them. The emotional baggage on all of them is tremendous and no [...]

    10. This is a memoir by conflict photographers Greg Marinovich & Joao Silva with a foreward by Archbishop Desmond Tutu. It is an appaling remembering of the time 4 conflict photographers spent in South Africa during the time that apartheid was coming to a violent end, as well as time spent in Sudan. Two of the 4 received Pulitzers for their photos. The book gives you the feel of what it is like to leave your humanity behind & go in & get the shot. It isn't your job to help. It is your jo [...]

    11. A brutal, visceral and disturbing ride through the last days of apartheid South Africa. I loved it. Even though Marinovich is not an experienced writer, as can be seen through some less than fortunate passages, the style of the book is nonetheless incredibly engaging. Apart from the unfortunate in medias res beginning, which gives the chaotic impression that one needs to be intimately familiar with the conflict and its different groupings, this book gives anyone a tough to put down introduction [...]

    12. I'm not going to say that this is the definitive insight into the transition between apartheid South Africa and universal suffrage in South Africa because I have done nothing that qualifies me to say that. But this book is written by a man who photographed, felt and lived those years. And with that qualification makes it very very worth reading.

    13. This is a compelling book that I highly recommend; however, readers should be prepared for stark reality of how horrible humans can treat each other. It is a powerful book about the end of apartheid in South Africa; but as with most changes it came at a great cost to human life. In addition this book gives the reader a small understanding of the work done by photojournalists. I say a "small" understanding because I think it is impossible for outsiders to understand what makes men and women choos [...]

    14. This is a tough book, as you would expect, given the subject. The sum total as a primary source, provides a compelling insight into the psychological effect of warfare, that is both personal and general.The Bang Bang Club brings behind-the-scenes turmoil to centre stage. Here we confront many uncomfortable truths - the overpowering adrenaline rush being one of them - which enables photographers to place themselves in the most dangerous of situations, frequently alongside mobs, whose own adrenali [...]

    15. The book is an eye opener on so many topics and issues to warrant a must-read emphasis. It is difficult to think how often conflict pictures have moved each of us and yet how often have we paused to think about the lives of those who capture these images? What tales they have to tell, what sights they have seen and what moral dilemnas have they grappled with?At another level, the book is an easy read into the world of apartheid in South Africa - not a documentary, not a fiction but a reality tha [...]

    16. sometimes it's getting pretty grotesque to visualise the writer's perspective. as he rightly said that taking pictures of the victims can make themselves (as photographer ) as a victim of inhumane conscience in the eyes of themselves/others, but to expose the truth about such atrocities to the world one has to take the path which are less travelled. Really enjoyed this book and about the inner struggle of the characters, and the decisions they took in their extreme situations.

    17. I can't really say that I enjoyed reading this I cried a bunch of times and I definitely would not recommend reading it right before bed. However, I would recommend reading it literally any other time. I felt such empathy for the people the book was about and I learned so much about politics, history, industry, war, trauma, and photography. I feel attached to everything about this book. 5/5. Phenomenal.

    18. It was good. Very good. Honest in how you'd have to turn yourself off to emotions to get the shot and how arrogance might come after the success of those photos. I found it hard to follow some of the conflict going on sometimes but politics and war are topics I have little understanding of. I found the characters hard to keep track of though and often got them confused and the only one who really stood out was Kevin because he was the one who had the drug issues. I was going to give it five star [...]

    19. This book took forever for me to finish because it was such a tough subject matter that I know many people in my profession have to deal with. There is constantly a grey area between being human and being a journalist that changes with each scenario. A detailed and touching account of pain, grief and constant doubt of capturing what's going on is helping the people you're photographing.

    20. f5.6 nie wystarczySzóstego lutego 2011 roku Wojciech Jagielski opublikował na łamach „Gazety Wyborczej” dość obszerny artykuł, w którym opisywał traumę i stres, będące udziałem fotoreporterów zajmujących się konfliktami zbrojnymi. Zadedykowany Krzysztofowi Millerowi tekst został zatytułowany zupełnie tak, jak wydana dekadę wcześniej książka Grega Marinovicha i João Silvy, „Bractwo Pif-Paf”; trudno z pewnością wyrokować, czy była ona główną inspiracją, ale c [...]

    21. This became my South African book in my 257 book challenge quite by accident. I have had it for a while – I tend to buy South African books at airports and obviously on that trip got side-tracked and didn’t read my purchase. I remembered it the other day and dived in. and pretty much swam to the end with maybe one breath.It’s a cracker of a read with only a few slightly less than gripping sections.The Bang-Bang Club, for those who may not know, was a group of crazy-ass photographers who co [...]

    22. It was hard to rate this book but in the end, chose 5 stars because it gave me a view of South Africa's end of Apartheid, the political aspects and the photojournalists recording it. It was heart-wrenching to read at times and the photos intensified it.The Bang-Bang Club comprises of four South African photographers, Greg, Joao, Ken and Kevin who risk their lives going into violent townships, dead zones, hostels in order to document what was really happening there with their cameras. By working [...]

    23. A perspectiva de Greg Marinovich é pessoal e implacável.Sem dúvida falta uma narrativa mais fluida, mas seus autores (João Silva foi colaborador) são fotógrafos e não romancistas, e por isso (ou ainda assim) o livro vale as cinco estrelas.As histórias oferecem e capturam de forma sincera os últimos anos do apartheid na África do Sul até o momento da eleição de Nelson Mandela e seus desdobramentos políticos e, principalmente, as conseqüências emocionais sofridas pelo "clube do ban [...]

    24. This book is incredibly thought provoking. The reader finds themselves in the writers shoes facing moral decisions that must be made in an instant but they will carry for a lifetime.The story is about four press photograghers who are South African and who cover the pre-election period of 1994.As a young teenager one at the time I accepted the one sided government propoganda sent out and reading this book illustrates the darker side of what the truth was and how it was manipulated by the Aparthei [...]

    25. This was truly an incredibly excellent read. The story, time, and events taking place in South Africa was truly riveting to learn about. Although the topic was quite heavy (as it takes place during the apartheid), the story of these bang-bang photographers were never romanticized or censored. The book was written in a very raw and realistic tone that allows the reader to begin to realize how this difficult period has affected the citizens of South Africa in so many different, intricate levels. T [...]

    26. I first read this book about 10 years ago. Today, I understand far more about both the transition from apartheid to democracy in South Africa and photojournalism in places of conflict. I wanted to learn more about the Hostel War which took place in South Africa during the transitional period when the apartheid government was dismantled and non-racial democracy was established, 1990-1994. The violence taking place in the townships was referenced in Nelson Mandela's Long Walk to Freedom, which I r [...]

    27. Really enjoyed this book. Story of 4 journalists who follow the "bang-bang", the conflicts in South Africa leading up to the election of Nelson Mandela. They also do wars all over the world, from Bosnia to Ethiopia. This book is a story of how being war photographers destroyed them, as Joan says, every time he clicks the shutter, a small piece of his humanity dies. They are all depressed, tormented, and 2 end up committing suicide. One of them, Kevin, commits suicide after winning the Pulitzer f [...]

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