walk, walk, walk
«Don't act like a photographer. Don't think like a photographer. Don't believe what you are thinking before you are seeing. Walk, walk, walk. Do all these fast!»
Few photographers can be proud of having received so many awards in so little time.
Between 2007 and 2010, Walter Astrada won three World Press Photo’s first prizes and in 2008 alone he was awarded 14 times in international competitions. And if his photos are direct, violent and bloody, this may mean that the media are mainly interested in reports of tragedy, the brutality that composes the human mass. But to this
«fotoperiodista extremo» (extreme photo reporter
— as they call him in Argentina, where he was born in 1974), this simply means that he cares about the suffering of his blood brothers
— the endemic cruelty of some countries in Latin America: in the segregation against Paraguayan transvestites, in violence against women in Guatemala, in Haiti's dictatorship...
Against the democratically correct, Astrada complains about the newspapers that refuse to publish his reports, which they describe as
In an interview he gave in August 2008, he admits:
«I think that magazines use the excuse that readers like to read "lighter news", when that is not quite true. But the fear of losing advertisers makes them not wanting to touch certain issues. Moreover, when they address "sensitive" topics, they are increasingly doing it very lightly. Using portrait, for example...».
"Portraits" are undoubtedly a photographic expression very little used by photojournalists such as Walter Astrada. And because the scale of disaster means movement, he
does — better than anyone else — what characterizes the spirit of Majoli:
«Walk, walk, walk. Do all these fast!».
But it he also does portraits...
Whether receiving awards or counteracting democratic correctness, Walter Astrada is on the before and the after, moving towards death and in time to portray death itself. Therefore, he also complains about politicians:
«I don’t care about politicians (…) I care about exposing the consequences of their poor management.»
Kenya's post election violence
(2008) e Femicide in Guatemala (2006).
photos WALTER ASTRADA
Walter Astrada currently lives in Madrid.
A regular contributor of the most important international photographic agencies (AP, AFP, WPN, Getty Images...), he admits that
«the chances that I won’t live to see 60 are extremely high» because
«sometimes, I risk too much» (in an interview to Alesia Martinez, SOITU.ES, June 2009).
The secret of his success is the reason of his fears, it goes hand in hand with tragedy.