Events

Panel Discussion: Fixers On The Frontlines

Tue, June 26, 2007 6:00 pm at Alwan for the Arts

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Alwan for the Arts Presents

Fixers On The Frontlines

Tuesday, June 26, 2007, 6:00 – 8:00 PM Free and open to the public Refreshments will be served

Sponsored by The Steven Vincent Foundation and Friends of Jassim

“…I am now in Jordan. Too many know my work. I attacked in car and very badly beaten. I fear my mother will be killed for my job…” -email from an Iraqi fixer, August 2006

Fixers have long worked along side foreign correspondents and photojournalists in war zones doing everything from translating, booking hotels, setting up interviews to safeguarding journalists and providing critical regional expertise behind the scenes. But with the rise of hostility toward journalists covering the U.S.-led war on terror, fixers in Iraq and Afghanistan find themselves pushed to the frontlines as they are not only increasingly used to cover difficult areas and situations considered too dangerous for Westerners but they are targeted just for their association with Westerners. These high-risk jobs come at an even higher price: their lives. At the time of writing, the Committee to Protect Journalists reports that 106 journalists have been killed in Iraq since the invasion in 2003 and of those 84 were Iraqi. Additionally, 39 support workers, i.e. fixers, were killed, 38 of them Iraqi. As the work of fixers becomes more critical and more dangerous, news organizations, freelance journalists and photographers face tougher ethical and professional questions in navigating this new terrain in international journalism. This panel discussion seeks to open the dialogue on these important issues and questions, as well as share some of the inspiring and heartbreaking stories of fixers.

Panelists

Bob Dietz, Moderator, Asia Program Director, The Committee to Protect Journalists

Majeed Babar is a former fixer/journalist/photojournalist from Pakistan

Micah Garen, photographer and documentary filmmaker

Ayub Nuri is an Iraqi journalist

George Packer has been a staff writer for the New Yorker since May 2003 and has published several books, most recently The Assassins'Gate: America in Iraq.

Lisa Ramaci is the widow of Steven Vincent, the freelance journalist and author of In the Red Zone: A Journey into the Soul of Iraq, who was kidnapped and murdered in Basra, Iraq in August 2005. She is the founder of the Steven Vincent Foundation, set up to honor the memory of her husband, and to acknowledge the vital and courageous work performed by local journalists and other media workers.

Sponsoring Organizations

The Steven Vincent Foundation, a non-profit organization set up to assist the families of indigenous journalists in regions of conflict throughout the world who are killed while doing their jobs, and to support the work of female journalists in those regions.

Friends of Jassim, a loose and growing collective of concerned individuals from the photographic community working to raise awareness and foster dialogue on the multitude of issues surrounding the work of fixers, while also urgently trying to secure the safety of Iraqi fixer Jassim. Jassim has worked with many well-known journalists and photographers and he was a key part of the grassroots efforts to negotiate the release of photographer Micah Garen and interpreter Amir Doshi when they were kidnapped in 2004. He was also the main photographer and local coordinator of the "Photographs by Iraqi Civilians, 2004" exhibition that launched on the first day of the Republican National Convention in New York in collaboration with Daylight Magazine, PixelPress, NYU and the Open Society Institute. For further information or to make donations please contact Ambreen Qureshi at friendsofjassim@gmail.com

Last updated: 2007-09-12 08:56:36

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