A quest for the ultimate, beautiful, meaningful picture

Colouring truth–before Photoshop

‘Kapuscinski – non-fiction’ is the title of the recently-published biography of travel journalist Ryszard Kapuscinski (1932-2007). Author Artur Domoslawski calls Kapuscinski his ‘mentor’, but he did not turn a blind eye on his mentor’s shortcomings. For he uncovered that Kapuscinski sometimes ‘gave reality a bit more colour’ by inventing things that had not happened.

How like the Photoshop discussion is that! There is no problem at all if a writer of fiction invents stories, invents even an whole world, just like ‘art’ photographers and Photoshop-buffs may do. But journalists (and that is how Kapuscinski presented himself!) to me must abide by the same rules that govern photo journalists: no fiddling with reality!

I have a couple of books by Kapuscinski and loved to read them, but mostly because I thought I could learn something about the problems of Africa, about the horrors of Russia. It was a good read and I admired his ability to give style to reality. But now it appears I basically was reading fiction (more style than reality) and I feel betrayed. IFFFFF Domoslawski wrote truth–whose writing can we trust more?

(Domoslawski’s book is not yet available on Amazon; does it exist at all, then?)


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