Panel on Handling Trauma Opens Conflict Photo Exhibition

“We need to think through collectively what the solutions are to the issues journalists face when returning from a conflict zone and encourage people to look out for each other,” said Dart Centre Europe's Gavin Rees at the 2017 Global Media Forum in Bonn, Germany. "We need to own this collectively."

Rees, speaking on the panel, "Handling Trauma in Frontline Journalism" with photographers Capucine Granier-Deferre and Patrick Tombola, stressed that even journalists who do not physically work in conflict zones can face traumatic situations, as images of violence and tragedy stream onto screens in their newsrooms. He pointed journalists to resources on working with traumatic imagery and developing personalized standard operating procedures.

Granier-Deferre, a freelancer, was one of the first at the scene of the Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 crash and described how that experience changed her outlook on taking on new work: “I try to balance the conflict work with other projects. I’m not going to push myself too much. I don’t force myself to take assignments.” 

She also called for greater financial and mental health support for freelance journalists. Like Granier-Deferre, Tombola also emphasized the need to protect those working in the field, particularly local journalists who do not have the luxury of leaving a conflict zone when they've completed their assignment.

Moderated by Deutsche Welle's Julia Hahn, the panel marked the opening of a traveling exhibition featuring the work of seven conflict photographers, including Granier-Deferre and Tombola. See full video of the event here:

And for those interested in Conflict, the photo exhibition curated by Marc Omar, its next stop will be the Frontline Club in London.