Skip to main content

tv   HAR Dtalk  BBC News  February 20, 2019 4:30am-5:01am GMT

4:30 am
this is the briefing, i'm maryam moshiri. our top stories: who ran away to join the extremist group, the so—called islamic state, in syria. shamima begum was 15 when she left london. now 19, she's in a refugee camp the london teenager who ran away and joined the islamic state in syria with a newborn baby, group in syria will be stripped and wants to return to the uk. her family say they're very of her british citizenship. disappointed and hope to appeal. thousands have taken to the streets thousands take to the streets in 60 french cities in 60 french cities, a protest against a rise in protest at a rise in anti—semitic attacks. in anti—semitic attacks. and, a hollywood star in rehab. hours earlier, almost 100 graves we visit thailand's famous film were found desecrated with swastikas location maya bay as it at a jewish cemetery. recovers from over—tourism. visiting the site, president macron called it an act of absurd stupidity and said the offenders would be punished. south africa's government bernie sanders is about to present its is making a second bid budget — will it help cure for the american presidency the country's economic woes in next year's election. or could it lead to another the vermont senator credit rating downgrade? is the best—known name in a crowded and generally much youngerfield of democratic party hopefuls.
4:31 am
you are up to date with the headlines. time now for hardtalk. welcome to huddle. and stephen sackur. today i havejourneyed welcome to huddle. and stephen sackur. today i have journeyed to the south coast of england to meet one of the great women pioneers of photography journalism, one of the great women pioneers of photographyjournalism, marilyn stafford. she was born in the united states but she moved to paris where she became the proteges of the brilliant henri cartier—bresson. like him, she liked capture intimate portraits of ordinary people. she has worked in war zones and on fashion catwalks. and now, at 93, her work is being admired by a new generation. so, what gives her pictures their power?
4:32 am
marilyn stafford, welcome to hardtalk. thank you. let's start way back. you trained as an actress, you spend a while as a nightclub singer and yet you really found your creative voice in photography still. what was that about photography that really reached into your soul? i have been called an accidental photographer. because i really did not set out to do the photography at all. the photography was something that was just there. when i was a child, everybody had a little box brownie, every family had a little box brownie. and so, the photography was just part of life, it wasn't anything, it was in photography. it
4:33 am
was just you had a anything, it was in photography. it wasjust you had a camera and anything, it was in photography. it was just you had a camera and you took pictures. would you say you were a natural observer, sometimes a little bit removed and looking in on things? i think probably, yes. i think probably to explain it to you, i remember taking my first photograph. and why i took my first photograph. it was on a family picnic and we we re it was on a family picnic and we were by a stream and the stream was of very, very clear water, running over pebbles. it wasn't very deep. and i was standing in it in the strea m and i was standing in it in the stream and feeling emotional watching the water over the stones. and ijust had this urge. i want to have this remembered. the feeling remembered. which is very interesting because it leads
4:34 am
immediately to daughter about your association in paris. once you had given up on the acting and you had moved to paris and were doing something in, but you are also beginning to use your camera, you got to meet one of the greatest 20th—century photographers, henri cartier—bresson. and his thing was about capturing that decisive moment, being ready and understanding the importance of the moment. and that seems to have resonated with you. that resonated with me in relation, a gain, to the feeling, because it was what was said in the photograph was what was said in the photograph was what was said in the photograph was what i wanted to bring out. as a child, i was open to life magazine with photography, and also, i went to the cinema and there were newsreels. i saw what was going around andi newsreels. i saw what was going
4:35 am
around and i suppose there was a churning of that same emotion of i wa nt to ca ptu re churning of that same emotion of i want to capture something and say something. but i was very moved by what was happening around me. and thatis what was happening around me. and that is why i really became interested in documentary photography rather than just taking the water rolling over the stones. so, it was a desire, in a sense, to tell stories, and stories of people with remarks absolutely, and i think that i am really a storyteller at heart, and i want to tell stories, but i want the stories to mean something, and i also want the story is -- something, and i also want the story is —— stories to produce an effect at the end. but if we are talking now about those early years of photography,
4:36 am
the late 405, early 19505, you were a woman in a man's world. and i am thinking of some of your very well—known picture5 thinking of some of your very well—known pictu res in thinking of some of your very well—known pictures in one of the inner 5lum5 well—known pictures in one of the inner slums of paris where you spend days and days filming particularly 5treet days and days filming particularly street children. humour have been quite peculiar to the local people —— you must have been. this american woman with a camera onto me taking picture5. it is interesting that you should 5ay it is interesting that you should say that because when i went out photographing with henri cartier—bresson, that photographing with henri ca rtier—bre55on, that is photographing with henri cartier—bresson, that is exactly what happened. he was very tall, he w0 re what happened. he was very tall, he wore a hat and his little camera was up wore a hat and his little camera was up here. i was very small, and i was a woman and i was carrying a roly flex, which was a big camera. and this was postwar france. you didn't walk around and see many people, let
4:37 am
alone a woman taking photographs. so inafunny alone a woman taking photographs. so in a funny kind of way, i was a decoy for him because i would need air with my big camera and he was able to tower over me and nobody would notice him. what do you think henri cartier—bresson taught you? because he loved your work, he was something ofa man he loved your work, he was something of a man told to you. absolutely. what was it you think that he thought he knew? i couldn't tell you. i really don't know what was going on in his mind. i only know that he never talked directly in the sense that when i was shown him a photograph, he would 5ay, was shown him a photograph, he would say, now, this is what you have to do, and all that sort of thing. in ever behave like that. he would make gentle suggestions, if you framed it this way, it would have that kind of a sense coming out, but leaving it
4:38 am
this way, it doesn't bring out that feeling. and one of the things i learned from him was if you are going out in the street, especially, the unobtrusive. and this lasted for the unobtrusive. and this lasted for the whole of my life. and you, it seems, really like being outside, and in particular, in 5pontaneou5 moments with ordinary people, i think you made a conscious decision to avoid studio work as much as possible. ye5, much as possible. yes, i think you could say that from one point of view, that was because of the technology, and i am not a technical per5on. of the technology, and i am not a technical person. and iju5t hated the whole business of cables on the floor and lights, and i prefer natural light as it comes, and the documentary approach rather than the
4:39 am
studio setup. it seems to me you wanted to find raw subject matter. for example, you went off to north africa, tuni5ia, during the terrible french war to try and prevent algerian independence. the french were bombing villages, you went off to tunisia where refugees were poring over the border, having been forced from their homes, and some of your picture5, again, curved 5pace —— wa5 a stir. one was on the first —— front page of the observer. it was my first front page. so, you are close to that world war photography for a time, even if you didn't go right into it. but i wasn't interested in the wall. i was interested in the refugees. you know, post—world war ii, there we re you know, post—world war ii, there were a lot of what they called at the time displaced people, but
4:40 am
before that, there were also people who were misplaced who are migrant5. i was very moved, a gain, when i was younger, by the photographs of dorothea lange who photographed the migrant workers who had to move because of the du5tbowl and the wind. and great depression. and great depression. and the great depression. a5 and great depression. and the great depression. as a child, people would come to the door, selling little rags and things. they were the jewish refugees from the oncoming holocaust. i was made aware of all of these people who were in danger, who needed their story told. and i wa nted who needed their story told. and i wanted to tell the story of the people in algeria who were refugees and who had been totally uplifted
4:41 am
from their homes. nobody wa5 from their homes. nobody was talking about the refugees. and that focus on people in the greatest of certain staffers who have suffered so much, i wonder what impact that had on you? i interviewed the great british wore a conflict photographer don mccullin, he says, sometimes on assignment in war zones, sometimes i felt like i was carrying, not carrying the negative so much as pieces of human flesh at home with me. it was as if i was carrying the suffering of the people i had photographed. did that kind of intense deep emotional response come for you as well? of course. you cannot but not do so. when you see people in a terrible situation, you want to do something, and maybe through the photography, when can do something. i believe it you can do something.
4:42 am
think photographs can change things? possibly not as we think of change as this becomes that immediately, but i think it can bring thoughts to people, and certainly, there are very iconic photographs, which you will remember, which make people think. you clearly have that campaigning spirit as a photojournalist. idid, yes. and yet i am also mindful of your personal life. even when you were covering the algerian war and the refugees, you were heavily pregnant. yes. and it is often different for women because they do have had their children if they choose to have children. and that of course have a huge impact on their lives. and we have rejected already on the degree to which photography was a man's world. the u, when you look at the arc of your career, think that in the end, of the choices you made, for
4:43 am
example, later in your career, rationalising a lot in fashion rather than travelling quite so much too difficult places, was it partly driven by being a mother, by choices you had to make in your personal life? you know, when i came to england in the mid— 605, there were probably about ten, 12 women photographers on fleet street. of those, most of them we re fleet street. of those, most of them were doing feature type photography, not news, and the door was pretty much closed against women. i came here, andi much closed against women. i came here, and i had separated from my husband by then, i had a small child. i had to earn a living. the only open door was fashion. because fashion, homes, decoration was women's area. and so i had to go
4:44 am
there, and i was able to get work in there, and i was able to get work in the fashion area. to be blunt about it, did men who, by and large, ran the newspapers back then and when the two desks and the newsdesk, the day actively at times work against the interests of women, actually belittle women, seek to keep women out? there were some men who were marvellous and really helped me, and iam very marvellous and really helped me, and i am very grateful to them because as they were the ones in power, so to speak, they helped open the door. there were the others who were exactly like you say. i remember going to a very big film company and asking for work as a stills photographer, and this smug
4:45 am
gentleman said, i havejust photographer, and this smug gentleman said, i have just the rightjob for you, gentleman said, i have just the right job for you, and gentleman said, i have just the rightjob for you, and he said, we have a scene that is going to need you to get out on the wing of an aeroplane in the sky and shoot from there. and ijust aeroplane in the sky and shoot from there. and i just looked aeroplane in the sky and shoot from there. and ijust looked at him and said, i'm sorry, i don't do that sort of thing. and he said, well, there you go, you can't hire women. they won't do these types of things. well, i am sure there are some men who would not that type of thing either. one thing you'd did do, and it actually began very early, even before you left the us, was from time to time you got the opportunity to film instils port returns, some of the iconic people of the 20th century. starting i suppose with albert einstein. you have the most incredible opportunity to go to his home and film him, photographed him. later, it was gandhi and a host of other famous names, edith
4:46 am
later, it was gandhi and a host of otherfamous names, edith pier at one point in paris. when you were faced with that, with the challenge of capturing something about his world famous people, how did you go about it? i suppose the naivete. ijust felt i could do i suppose the naivete. ijust felt i could do it. i suppose the naivete. ijust felt i could do it. i i suppose the naivete. ijust felt i could do it. i am i suppose the naivete. ijust felt i could do it. i am not i suppose the naivete. ijust felt i could do it. i am not really i suppose the naivete. ijust felt i could do it. i am not really a thinker on a plan, oranything. i just go with my feeling. and the albert einstein thing was, first of all, he was so gentle and kind. he made us very well come. i went there with these documentary filmmakers who wanted him to speak out against the atom bomb. and he did, in the film. but before we were filming, they were filming, it was all on
4:47 am
16mm film at the time, there was the producer and the director, and while the lights were being set up the director was talking to him. and he looked at the director and he said, "i have a question for you. can you please explain to me about how many feet per second per second the film goes through the camera?" and the director explained all of this. i couldn't explain it to you. and einstein listened there like a little boy. and after all of this had clarified he said, "thank you very much. i understand now." and giving you access to these remarkable people and photographs that live long in the memory and continue to be looked at today, do you, going back to this point about photography in your era being, by and large, a man's wald, a man's
4:48 am
profession, do you feel that you never quite got the recognition that your male peers got? -- world. no, not really. i was doing my work and ijust did it. i didn't think in terms of recognition at all. you worked a loss in fashion, as you have described it, you weren't so much a catwalk photographer, but she did a loss of glamour and fashion —— lot. i have looked at a loss of your fashion photography. you did it in quite a different way to others working in the field at the time. for example, you often included ordinary people in your fashion shots. you would have this beautiful woman were unbeatable clothes, but then in the corner of the picture or to one side there would be just a passerby or a kid who happen to be watching —— beautiful clothes. and you let them be in the picture. yes.
4:49 am
well, partly that was because in the early days, in the 19505, when i was doing fashion, it was the only time of ready to wear. i was also having my love affair with the streets of paris. and it pleased me to take these clothes, which would be worn by women like me, in places where i would be walking about. and, of course, in some of these places, we re course, in some of these places, were the local kids. and any place you go with a camera you are going to have masses of kids trailing behind you. and so i figured get them in the act as well. and they loved it. they had a wonderful time. and i had a wonderful time. the models had a wonderful time. and i think that the photographs weren't just fashion photographs. they were fun photographs. when you look today
4:50 am
at the celebrities with their stylist and their image controllers and everything is so orchestrated, could you be a photographer in that world today under that sort of control? i suppose if i world today under that sort of control? i suppose ifi had to world today under that sort of control? i suppose if i had to own my living i would do it, one is —— earn my living. one does do certain things because of necessity. and some of the photographs that i did we re some of the photographs that i did were out of necessity. i had to survive. i had a child. and a set up ata survive. i had a child. and a set up at a given moment a small agency with another photographer to cover the fashions in paris,, rome, new york, london, four orfive times the fashions in paris,, rome, new york, london, four or five times a year. and i was earning my living
4:51 am
with this kind of photography. and it allowed me to work very intensely four times a year it allowed me to work very intensely fourtimesa yearand it allowed me to work very intensely four times a year and have enough money to go and do the kind of photographs that i wanted to do, for insta nce photographs that i wanted to do, for instance seven or eight trips to india. and to pay the bills. which brings us to the present day and your determination to promote women in the sort of campaigning documentaryjournalism that in the sort of campaigning documentary journalism that you in the sort of campaigning documentaryjournalism that you have talked about, which obviously is your first love in your own career. you have got a price now in your name set up by the photo document group, which seeks out the best woman documentary photographer. what do you think defines the best of this campaigning documentary
4:52 am
photographer that you are talking about, whether it be social, economic, environmental, what is it, do you think, that defines it? it's really the way that the photograph is taken to tell a story. it's all telling stories. and the winners of the two years that this award has been going are telling stories that people rarely hear about. and they are also showing, in some way, either a way that this problem that they are showing can be solved or helped, or what is being done or trying to be done. the three winners of this year's award, one is a turkish woman who is revealing the
4:53 am
story of young syrian refugees in turkey, women, who are married off, very often probably sold by their families to survive, and then after they've been used up a bit, they are cast off, they are divorced. another of the winners is writing about female genital mutilation in europe. she is presently in france doing this story. another woman is showing the plight of the villagers in wales where there have been minds that have been closed, how the people are pulling themselves up and the ravages of the closures of the
4:54 am
mines, but how the people are helping themselves and what is being done to help them. in other words, it's done to help them. in other words, its and negative situation that is showing what could be done or what is being done, if only people would get in there and do it —— it's a negative situation. it sounds to me like you believe in the power of the picture, the power of photography, as much today as you did when you started out right after world war ii. ithink so, started out right after world war ii. i think so, yes. very much. in one image that can be a very big emotional thrust that makes people think, feel, and, i hope, do something about that feeling. marilyn stafford, it has been a pleasure talking to you. thank you for being on hardtalk. thank you
4:55 am
very much. hello again. our weather has been pretty mild over recent days but we're about to turn the heat up even further. yes, we'll be dragging up some air coming off the north—west of africa, pushing past spain, in towards the uk as we get towards the end of the week and into the weekend. that will boost temperatures and we could see highs, given a bit of sunshine, getting as high as 18. that is just about possible. it depends on how much sunshine we'll see and the next few days look cloudy even though we will be mild. this is the cloud we've got at the moment. the weather system is pushing north and east, bringing wet weather with it. over the next few hours, we have some rain around across scotland and northern england, a few spots into the midlands but it's largely but it is largely dry in the south. some showers following
4:56 am
to northern ireland. you'll notice a mild start to wednesday. temperatures in the range of 7—11. wednesday, a cloudy start for most with outbreaks of rain particularly across north—western areas. the rain could be quite heavy at times for wales, north—west england, western scotland, but there will be some sunshine coming out in the afternoon. the best chance of that is in east anglia, south—east england and also for the north—east of scotland, slowly brightening up for northern ireland. a mild day. temperatures between 11 and 14. through wednesday evening and overnight, most of the rain will ease for a time but there could be more spits and spots of light rain and drizzle a round western coasts and hills. another mostly mild night but with clearer skies towards the south—east and the countryside gets cooler here. for thursday, a greater prospect of seeing a little bit more in the way of sunshine breaking through. the best chance of that is the east of high ground, the midlands and eastern wales, not doing too badly. east of the pennines and eastern areas of scotland, whereas in the west, a bit more cloud. it's notjust here in the uk that has the mild weather. temperatures on thursday up
4:57 am
to 17 in paris and madrid and across the south of spain as we head the weekend, we could see the temperatures hit around 25 degrees celsius. looking at the charts towards the end of the week, pressure builds a bit further across england and that will punch a few more holes in the cloud. perhaps a bit of mist and fog for some to start but for most of us, there should be more in the way of sunshine to go around. the sunshine will boost the temperatures 14—15 degrees at least. you could see highs going a bit higher that that, given some decent cloud breaks. the fine, dry, mild spell of weather is set to continue through the weekend and for many of us it looks dry into next week as well. that's your latest weather, bye—bye.
4:58 am
4:59 am
5:00 am

9 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on