Photographer Joao Silva lost both of his legs last year to an IED landmine explosion in Afghanistan. He kept shooting as he was dragged to safety and treated by medics. But to hear him tell it, he’s just an ordinary guy who ran into some bad luck.
I heard the mechanic click. I knew: this is not good. And I found myself lying face-down on the ground, engulfed in a cloud of dust, with the very clear knowledge that this has just happened and this is not good. I could see my legs were gone, and everybody around me was dazed. I was like, “Guys, I need help here.”
Beyond his chilling description of the explosion and its immediate aftermath, he also talks about the ethics and craft of being a photographer in a warzone — “The things that we see go through the eye straight into the brain. Some of those scenes never go away.” — and the current state of photojournalism.
It’s a moving and inspirational bit of wisdom from a supremely humble, self-aware and talented photographer. And as a reminder, you can still buy prints of Joao’s work to help support him, with any excess funds going to a charity of his choice. [NY Times, Support Joao]