Lensman Silva injured by landmine

2010-10-24 08:37

Joao Silva, the world famous war photographer, sustained serious injuries to his legs after stepping on a landmine in Afghanistan yesterday.

Silva (44) and his fellow photographer, Greg Marinovich, are the authors of The Bang-Bang Club, a book which documents how the “club”, also consisting of Kevin Carter and Ken Oosterbroek, captured the violence that swept through South African townships in the 1990s on film. Silva and Marinovich are the only surviving members of the Bang-Bang club.

Silva was in Afghanistan for the New York Times and alongside the newspaper’s journalist accompanied American troops as they penetrated a Taliban stronghold in the Arghandab district of the Kandahar province.

The New York Times said in a statement that Silva was rushed to the American and Nato army base at the Kandahar airstrip.

Three American soldiers sustained concussions.

The multi award winning Silva was born in Lisbon, Portugal. He is a war photographer and has covered wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Southern Africa, The Balkans and the Middle East.

Bill Keller, executive editor of the New York Times said: “Joao is the hyper modern war photographer; fearless but careful, with an impressive eye.

We’re anxiously waiting and praying for his speedy recovery.”

Sapa reported that Silva was to have been moved to Germany last night for medical attention.

“He will be moved to Germany tonight. I am not sure of his condition because I haven’t spoken to the doctors. I just know it’s leg injuries,” his wife Vivian told Sapa.
The family was “holding up fine,” she said.

Kim Ludbrook, international photographer and friend of Silva, said they were still trying to find out what had happened.

“He’s been there for a number of weeks. Those of us in the photographic community keep each other updated in regards to his condition.”

Silva’s Facebook friends left messages of support on his profile yesterday.

“My thoughts and prayers are with you brother. Get well soon and come back,” Connall Oosterbroek wrote.

On his website Silva writes that he started his photography career in 1989 at the Alberton Record, a community newspaper in Gauteng, after which he worked for The Star and AP.

In 1996 he became a regular freelance photographer for the New York Times and since 2000 he has been a contract photographer for the newspaper.

The Ban Bang Club was filmed last year in Thokoza. Silva and Marinovich were consultants.

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