SA photographer injured in Afghanistan war

2010-10-23 15:14

Johannesburg – The family of South African-based photographer Joao Silva, who was injured while covering the war in Afghanistan, was too distraught to comment today.

Silva’s wife, Vivian’s cellphone was answered by a family member who asked to be called back “in a couple of hours, when we will be in a better position to comment”.

Silva, who was a member of the so-called Bang-Bang Club, is currently a photographer with The New York Times and sustained serious leg injuries after stepping on a mine while covering the war in southern Afghanistan.

Joao, 44, was evacuated to the main US military base in southern Kandahar for medical treatment.

“A group of minesweepers and bomb-sniffing dogs had already moved over the area several steps ahead of Mr. Silva when the bomb went off,” said a report on the newspaper’s website.

Silva was born on August 9, 1966 in Lisbon, Portugal and is a war photographer based in Johannesburg, South Africa.

He was associated with the Bang-Bang Club, a group of four photographers who covered South Africa from the time of former president Nelson Mandela’s release to the first elections in 1994. The other three photographers were Kevin Carter, Greg Marinovich and Ken Oosterbroek.

Silva has worked in Africa, the Balkans, Central Asia, Russia, and the Middle East. His images have won numerous awards, including the World Press Photo.

On his website, Silva said he first started taking pictures in 1989, and later began his career with the Alberton Record, a local South African newspaper.

He convinced his editors to let him cover the violence in Thokoza, and later started submitting photographs to Reuters.

He resigned from the newspaper to freelance full time.

Silva also supplied pictures to The Star and Reuters.

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