Fund for João Silva launched

2010-11-10 21:31

Johannesburg - Leading photography website Photoshelter has launched a website featuring the work of badly injured SA lensman João Silva, his friend Greg Marinovich said on social networking site Facebook on Wednesday.

It was set up on Tuesday as a fund to support or donate to Silva and allows visitors to buy either a digital print or one of a limited number of "vintage" hand prints from Silva's SA work.

"Should Silva decide he does not need the money, it would be donated to a charity of his choice," it said.

The site had put up two pictures by the renowned 44-year-old photographer, one of which captured a smoke trail in the sky by US planes during a hunt for terrorist Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan, and the other of a woman navigating a waterway in southern Iraq.

On Wednesday, Portuguese President Anibal Cavaco Silva also sent a message of support to Silva.

"I have followed your situation ever since you found yourself faced with such a terrible moment in your life. As you have always shown great spirit in the more difficult circumstances, I feel certain that the courage that has won you so many admirers will accompany you in this stage when such a strong determination is demanded in your fight against adversity.

"I thus wish you a fast recovery, for the happiness of your family and of all those who look up to you with great respect for your qualities."

Silva lost both his legs after stepping on a landmine in Afghanistan on October 23. He had been following US troops on a mine sweeping patrol.

Silva was initially flown to Germany and after a few days moved to the Walter Reed Memorial Hospital in Washington.

Marinovich earlier this week told Sapa Silva was undergoing several operations in preparation for prosthetic limbs.

Silva was born in Lisbon, Portugal and is based in Johannesburg, South Africa.

He was associated with the "Bang-Bang Club", the nickname for a group of four photographers who covered events in South Africa during apartheid and from the time former president Nelson Mandela was released from prison to the first democratic election in 1994. The other three photographers were Kevin Carter, Ken Oosterbroek and Marinovich.

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