Read the interview with Marcus Bleasdale in Eight magazine (V4N3, Dec 2005)
Anger and a desire to bring about change led to Bleasdale leaving his secure directorship with a bank to become a professional photojournalist. Following a cynical remark by a banking colleague regarding events in the Balkan’s he felt upset and motivated enough to leave , arriving in Macedonia within a few days. Covering conflict in areas such as the Balkans, Uganda , Sudan and the Congo he has become an award winning photographer deeply committed to human rights.
In the link below he discusses working in dangerous and violent places , of using vigilance with a “gentle approach” , and what strategies are needed to initiate an interchange with his subject.
He has published two books:
One Hundred Years of Darkness : A Photographic Journey into the Heart of Congo was inspired by the Joseph Conrad novel Heart of Darkness, drawing parallels between King Leopold and his army removing natural resources and abusing the Congolese to that of modern day multinational organisations and their own president.
Rape of a Nation, recorded the adverse effect the construction an oil pipe-line had on the lives of villagers whose homes and villages it passed through in Central Africa.
Like the socially committed B&W photographers his camera is used to record abuse , conflict and exploitation. He describes feeling compelled to draw attention to the 5.4 million deaths in the Congo, brought about by the actions of banks , governments , traders and industries, and believes the media have an ethical responsibility to report and record atrocities and loss, using the evidence to influence policy makers and enforce change.