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Thread: Aceh Photo relief

  1. #1

    Default Aceh Photo relief

    read this article today:
    http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmp...mi_dead_bodies

    I saw mass burials on TV. Bodies were buried without any identification for fear of diseases. Now that it has been proven otherwise, maybe something can be done. Families need to know if their loved ones are still alive or missing. right now, the critical needs are food and shelter. But i believe sometime in the near future, identification of the dead would be important. At least a photo.

    Just thinking that it might be possible to send a team of volunteers to document the dead for records. Digital cam, lots of memory cards, Laptop to store...it just might be possible. I called up the Red Cross and Worldvision to see if its possible. But they do not have such needs. Nor has their Indonesian counterparts requested for this. I dont think it has even occured to them, given the mammoth task ahead of them.

    My idea: Get a small team of photographers. With equipment. station at the major morgues. Photograph the dead. Set base in one of the relief centers. duration uncertain (maybe 2-6 weeks). The team may not be able to cover all the dead. But at least we will be doing what we can. Equipment might be sponsored if we are able to get proper support from one of the relief agencies.

    It's just an idea (the task seems so scary cos it's so real). I'm contacting agencies to see if it is possible. Might be nothing at all.

    what do you think?

  2. #2

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    I totally agree... i see i wasn't the only one to think of this.. but then i think alot of them will think this is not priority .. plus the fact that you are gonig to need valuable resources like tents and food and water for the volunteer photographers.. might be easier to donate film.. but then i dun think this is the top of the priority....
    wld be good to shoot digital but who will donate digital cams and laptops.. not to mention electricity might be cut ... so generators are already taxed.. hmmm

  3. #3
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    i think, its not feasible, u might need to take about 5 pics for each person... at least...

    Front/Back/2 Sides (FACE) den body... den possible closeup of some moles or tattoo for identification. den need a database to keep each record... which takes alot of time...

    also, each body is a breeding host for diseases, so you need to wear gloves, mask, when taking the pictures.... not an easy task under the humid area... esp if need to wear plastic gowns & rubber boots.
    Logging Off. "You have 2,631 messages stored, of a total 400 allowed." don't PM me.

  4. #4

    Default support

    ya, i agree that the logistical support alone is quite a nightmare already. thats why we need a major relief agency to support. With that it shd be easier to ask for equipment. companies tend to be more willing to part with equipment with hard cash for a good cause (and publicity).

    With the help of the relief centre we should be able to get electrical support. basically it's a volunteer mission so there be minimal comfort (read: none). But we shd be able to get shelter and food from the centers.

    Still, your points are very real. But i think it's a possibility.

  5. #5
    Senior Member denniskee's Avatar
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    Guys, have you ever shoot corps is begining to decom or had already started?
    This is not a job for a photog that does not have experience can do.
    Also, do you know what important feature to take?
    Good effort though.
    photography makes one sees things from all angles.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rudy
    ya, i agree that the logistical support alone is quite a nightmare already. thats why we need a major relief agency to support. With that it shd be easier to ask for equipment. companies tend to be more willing to part with equipment with hard cash for a good cause (and publicity).

    With the help of the relief centre we should be able to get electrical support. basically it's a volunteer mission so there be minimal comfort (read: none). But we shd be able to get shelter and food from the centers.

    Still, your points are very real. But i think it's a possibility.
    hmmm ... i think alot of people here really appreciate your kind thoughts for those who lost their relatives but i think the various agencies should concentrate on helping whoever are alive at this point in time, in anycase burial for the dead cannot be delayed, so i don't think this can be of any help IMHO

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    I have abit (been with a few corpse b4), but like i said, its not feasible, even forensic will not venture into such things... just think... each body will take at least 20mins to take & note data... how many corpse are there? and how much time you have... u have at most another 2 days left...

    another point i just remembered is the human dignity issue, when a person die, at least let them die with dignity & chaste... most of these ppl do not have full body, 'normal' face, clothes on them, etc, when you picture them nude or in such 'manner' i think the family members may not appreciate it, also, how are you going to keep this database & how will the database be used & who is suppose to govern this database? if any leechers take this database pictures to put in some obscene sites, how are you going to settle such problems? etc...

  8. #8

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    I agree with Del. It will be hard to take these pixs. of course some bodies would disfigured...unrecognisable. Given the time and scale of the problem, the team shd concentrate their efforts on taking pixs that would be of use. Frontal close ups. Not tattoos, birthmarks and no naked bodies. Not standard forensic procedures but given the scale of this disaster, we can do what we can...and not be in the way of rescue efforts.

    Photos will be given to indonesian authorities later where they can organise them into folders (according to age grps, gender). Perhaps their families can id from there.

    Of course with no medical knowledge, i dont know how useful the pixs would be given the rate of decomposition and cause of death (drowning). of course medically we would be to be immunised and given proper medical equipment (gloves, masks). these too could be arrange.

    Logistical problems can be solved...with some help. But how useful would we be?

    really appreciate your thoughts and input guys.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Del_CtrlnoAlt
    I have abit (been with a few corpse b4), but like i said, its not feasible, even forensic will not venture into such things... just think... each body will take at least 20mins to take & note data... how many corpse are there? and how much time you have... u have at most another 2 days left...
    with only 2 days left we may not be able to be there in time to do any good. The idea is good, maybe it could be something we can learn from all this and get a team of photographers ready with the sponsers in place so that if something like this ever happens again we can swing into action and be there ASAP.
    The dead have gone through the pain of dying, it is the living that have to con't living with the pain of lossing someone. Something should be done so that the living can at least know where their loved ones are buried or if the sea have claim them. This at least and hopefully can be some form of closure for them.

  10. #10

    Default if anyone going...

    Count me in. I think I will get rolls and rolls of film. I will not bring my compact digital as I dont think there will be electricity. Also it could be dangerous there as Aceh was cordoned off by the Indon military before the tsunami. There are lots of desperate people there as well. Oh yeah, we need to think about food as well and how to get in and out.

    It is getting less attention (help/relief) than the rest affected areas because Aceh is not a tourist attraction like Phuket (sorry if I offended the Thais). They also have little industrialisation so less people in the west knows or cares.

    However, they are the worst hit area as there are the nearest to the quake epicenter. There is an interactive microsite by the New York Times which shows the digitalglobe satellite before and after imageries. You can see the almost total devastation of the city.

  11. #11

    Default update

    http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stori...124935/1/.html

    the latest news reported tremors abt 5+ in intensity. And the death toll has climbed sharply to more than 100,000.

    I have spoken and left my contact info with the relief organisations with regards to the proposal. Most are not very interested. I think they have more pressing concerns. And the relatively low effective output of a small uncoordinated team vs the immediate concerns of the relief efforts (getting food, shelter for the victims) is one of the factors.

    Many of you raised valid points ie medically untrained, possible liability to already over-burdened infrastructure, fast-decomposing bodies etc. I have given it much thought and i feel that i am not qualified enough for people in this forum to risk their lives for an idea, no matter how great it seems. Therefore, i feel that i shouldn't proceed with this effort. However, it may be of some comfort to know that trained forensic people there are already doing the necessary tagging, albeit under-staffed.

    despite having this project grounded, im sure most of you will continue to do your own bit to help the aid effort. To volunteer your time closer to home you can email volunteer@ymca.org.sg


    Thanks for all your advice and input. Really appreciate it.


    God Bless,
    ivan tan tze kiang

  12. #12

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    All the points made are valid.
    The road to recovery and the rebuilding of the many cities and towns affected will take perhaps years. They will certainly require much more funds than what has already been donated to aid the victims. Maybe sometime in the near future a trip could be organized to take photos of the surviving victims struggling to pick up their shattered lives. Then, a series of selected photos (w/ brief journalistic write-ups about the subject) could be used to create additional awareness to raise more funds fo them. These are just my thoughts...

  13. #13
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    Default Check tis site out....

    Hiee....

    Just go to Digital GLobe
    Site to see for your self the extent of the disappearing shore line.in Aceh.....
    even locals have problems accessing to the immediate damaged locality....

    In a nutshell....they (all the affected country)......really need what ever help possible......$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    rgds,
    sulhan

  14. #14
    Moderator ortega's Avatar
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    Have a photoshoot for families or individuals on orchard road or a studio with all proceeds going to the red cross. Just an idea, but need the equipment and the logistics to be settled first, there are a few people going to wash cars today to generate cash for donation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ortega
    Have a photoshoot for families or individuals on orchard road or a studio with all proceeds going to the red cross. Just an idea, but need the equipment and the logistics to be settled first, there are a few people going to wash cars today to generate cash for donation.
    good idea

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by eikin
    good idea
    rudy great idea but they are already doing the corpse photography check out www.tsunamithailand.com to see thats how they have been doing it since day one, anyway there is going to be some great opportunitys for humaniteriam photography work displays at an upcoming Mercy relief event so stay tuned

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    Quote Originally Posted by travelshooter
    rudy great idea but they are already doing the corpse photography check out www.tsunamithailand.com to see thats how they have been doing it since day one, anyway there is going to be some great opportunitys for humaniteriam photography work displays at an upcoming Mercy relief event so stay tuned
    ermm ... i was referring to ortega's idea as a good idea btw, not rudy's idea

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by ortega
    Have a photoshoot for families or individuals on orchard road or a studio with all proceeds going to the red cross. Just an idea, but need the equipment and the logistics to be settled first, there are a few people going to wash cars today to generate cash for donation.
    if you're serious about this I'm sure alot of us here'll give you our support. Let us know what you'll need to get it going?

  19. #19

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    The original idea of photographing the corpses for ID is a very good and noble one. Unfortunately, it will be very hard to execute, given that the situation there is chaotic. The corpses really need to be buried ASAP. Epidemics have already started in some areas.

    I hate to sound morbid but if you recall in Somalia, bulldozers were being used to just scoop up piles of bodies. I don't know if this is already happening in this disaster but don't be surprised if it happens. At Mercy Relief, we have received many calls for help, including a urgent request for 10,000 body bags from Aceh. After much scrambling, we only managed to get 100. So this is the reality of things out there.

    It is usual for the outpour of compassion in this trying time, but in a couple of weeks, when things start to slow down and when people out there continue to suffer, help and compassion will dwindle. That is in fact when a lot of good work can do done. Many of the caring and contribution can be through photography.

    I like the Orchard Road portrait idea very much. Let me know what you need (contact is end of message) We will find ways to support it.

    Two weeks ago, when things were still "normal", three young participants of Shooting Home 2004, together with the wife of one of them, went to Medan to undertake one such project.

    Working with Mercy Relief, they embarked on a wonderful project of shooting portraits of close to 300 orphans in three different orphanages. While we take for granted the act of having our photographs taken, most of the kids have never had a photo taken. With sponsorship from Epson, the group was able to make a quick print for each of the orphan photographed. It was simple joy. I should point out that the group of four paid their own way there.

    One thing to also note is that many of the orphans in Medan are not real orphans. According to social workers, many originated from Aceh and were sent to the orphanages because the chances of them surviving is higher than if they were to stay in Aceh. Did the parents have foresight? you tell me.

    The first team from Mercy is on the way to Colombo tonight. The group consists of Mercy staff, a doctor, reps from Mercy's corporate sponsors and photographer Darren Soh. They will distribute relief and conduct recce for future missions.

    The second team of almost similar make-up leaves for Medan, then Aceh, on Wednesday. The photographer on this trip is Ernest Goh.

    I will be on the first medical mission to Sri Lanka second half of January. There will be many more trips.

    To bring people up to date on the situation, the gallery at Mercy Exchange in Gallery Hotel will be turned into a photography space where a series of photography exhibitions of pictures taken on the ground by Mercy Relief photographers, starting with Darren and Ernest. Epson is again coming with in with tremendous support.

    Without doubt, we will use these opportunities to raise more money for the victims.

    For the past few months, I have been on the road documenting communities hit by disasters for Mercy, and we have been discussing the mechanics of setting up a documentary fund similar to the Mother Jones Photo Fund. So, safe to say we know what we are doing.

    Not in anyway opening the floodgates, I am interested to receive well-researched and workable proposals for humanitarian projects using photography or video. If they are good and workable, I will find ways to fund it.

    Lastly, I want to say that there is no point thinking just about the "overseas rescue missions". Charity must start at home. In the past few days, many people called volunteering their photography and other services if there's a Mercy Relief operation overseas. I don't like to entertain such calls.

    If you want to really help, roll up your sleeves and head to any place in Singapore that is asking for volunteers, be it cloth collection or moving things. Not everything need to be about photography. Some of the most talented photographers have been delivering boxes, collection cans or just carrying boxes for us.

    Lastly, I am not a Mercy Relief staff, though they call me their fulltime volunteer and volunteers coordinator.

    Tay Kay Chin
    91876351
    kaychin@eastpix.com
    Last edited by kaychin; 3rd January 2005 at 06:31 PM.

  20. #20
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    wow, thanks to kaychin for your information

    hey guys, we have something very workable here, let's set aside maybe 2 to 3 weekends doing this? maybe someone experienced in such shoots can do the coordination? i am sure most of us have digital cameras, what we need are laptops (quite a number of us have too) and portable printers and i see a meaningful project on the way already we can even provide different framing designs and charge accordingly, like for higher donations there'll be names imprinted etc.

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