Ron Haviv and Lauren Walsh tell the history through iconic photographs.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

In an intimate master class, Dr. Lauren Walsh and photographer Ron Haviv shared their anecdotes about the creation of their documentary, Biography of a Photo, which will be screened in the framework of IFF Panama 2019. Those present were delighted to hear the process of production and the stories of the people that Walsh and Haviv found during this filming trip, some present in the audience.

Biography of a Photo tells the story of two "iconic" photographs taken by Haviv in 1989 and 1992 during the conflicts in Panama and Bosnia, respectively. Walsh said, "a photo becomes iconic when it stands the test of time, remains in the memories of people and transcends the field of photography, moving to film, the popular culture or geopolitics."

The purpose of the film was both to explain the moment in which Haviv captured the photographs, and to analyze the impact they have had globally. However, Haviv also warned of the negative consequences these images can cause. He said, "iconic photographs can tell incredible stories. But we must also take into account the possible normalization of the suffering of the people who appear in them. "

Studying the impact of the photographs, Haviv and Walsh detailed some of their encounters with Bosnian and Panamanian students and professors. "We talked to a lot of teachers during this process. (...) Students who learn these parts of the story are extremely excited to learn more. " said Walsh.

In response to questions from the public about different forms of censorship of sensitive images, Haviv and Walsh agreed that although they understand that these issues must be handled with responsibility and sensitivity, the restriction should never be an option.

You can learn more about the film at