Photojournalist Ron Haviv Leads Presentation on Human Rights at Summit High School

SUMMIT, NJ – The strife and human rights atrocities that occur in war-torn or famine-stricken countries and territories around the world are stories that must be told.  For Ron Haviv there is a moral imperative that guides his work as a photojournalist, a responsibility to tell a story with photos of what really happens around the globe.
 
Haviv specializes in documenting human rights issues and the human impact on war and strife in places that most Americans only see on TV news.
 
“We have a real ability to influence events for the better in the world,” Haviv told an audience of 200 hundred Summit High School students on Wednesday. “That starts with you being educated.”
 
Haviv was the main speaker on Wednesday at Summit High School’s Human Rights Day. The program was sponsored by a grant from the Summit Education Foundation and supported by high school photo teacher Don Standing.
 
Standing produces the event in conjunction with two English teachers, Greg Valaca and Denise Velez. Humanities teacher, Bob Kish, led off the program with a presentation on concentration camps. In preparation for the program Valaca and Velez had students spend a week reading books on human rights and genocide.
 
“From my perspective as a teacher, my job is to show the students how this stuff exists out in the world,” Standing said. “It’s one thing to learn [by coming] to class and it’s another to meet someone who was witnessing these events first hand and to show them that these things exist.”
 
Haviv had just returned from Egypt where he witnessed the public demands for the resignation of former president Hosni Mubarak. He was there to photograph and videotape the massive protests and witness the exuberance over the former president’s resignation on Feb. 11.
 
“It was an experience being in Cairo seeking Mubarak leave and seeing the birth of a new country,” Haviv said, but noted the challenges that he and other journalists faced in obtaining images.

“In Egypt, journalists were being attacked,’ Haviv said. “It’s easy for regimes and people who don’t want the world to know what is going on to attack the messenger.”
 
Haviv showed his audience of students several documentary multimedia vignettes of photos and video with narration. They often featured a close-up look at people torn by their troubled surroundings 
 
“There are times when I tried to take photos of a war crime and a gun was put to my head,” Haviv said. “Now people are very aware of photographs and the power they can have so they try to make sure that no one can see what is going on.”
 
Other vignette topics included human suffering in Bosnia and even a short documentary on gang violence in Los Angeles.
 
“It is very difficult to be in these extreme situations," Haviv said. “Going back to my work in Yugoslavia traveling with troops and then watching them commit war crimes in front of me was really difficult. It was difficult to take pictures without them knowing that I took the photographs. After I took them I was put on the death list...”
 
Students, for their part, developed a new-found appreciation for the process of photojournalism as a craft and for gaining unfiltered insight into world events.
 
“It was interesting to hear a first hand account of what was going on in all the situations,” said photo student Max Frank. “It’s cool to hear his opinion on things as opposed to looking at the images on your own behind the scenes."
 
“It was awesome to see and hear his video about Egypt because all we hear is media but a first hand account is pretty awesome,” offered Ben Tolles. “We have a better appreciation for what they do.”
 
Others said that they are now able to see world events in a new way. “It’s nice to see the actual truth,” said Hannah Pollinger. "A lot of people think it’s easy to take a picture but it really can be a life-threatening experience.”
 
While Haviv realizes that having guns pointed at one’s head does not sound appealing, he said he hopes that his presentation empowers young people to educate themselves about issues that are occurring in the world.
 
“I hope that they get a sense of the career aspect of it that there are various ways to be able to make your dream happen,” Haviv said. “The other thing is that...when they vote and sign petitions they can have an impact. They are going to be making the choices. Photography is one of the ways of learning."  

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Summit

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_bc30a776270d0825eaac_what_stays_graphic

Sun, February 18, 2:00 PM

Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre, Summit

What Stays by Laura Ekstrand and Jason Szamreta

Arts & Entertainment Community Calendar

Carousel_image_5ee8c2f0eb2fa7451dad_1936833_116854767125_491173_n

Sun, February 18, 3:00 PM

Lawton C. Johnson Summit Middle School, Summit

NJIO's Winter Concert

Arts & Entertainment

Carousel_image_06f9ba160a4082bf98ad_storytime_0317

Mon, February 19, 11:00 AM

Summit Free Public Library, Summit

All Ages Storytime Squad

Arts & Entertainment Education

Summit Fire Department Blotter

12/16/17 7:42 am     FD dispatched to DE FOREST AVENUE and MAPLE STREET for a strong odor of natural gas in area. On arrival found an outside odor of natural gas. PSEG was requested and responded to the scene. Readings of 7% natural gas were found in the manholes in the center of the intersection. CVS was checked and zero readings for natural gas were found. Summit FD was released ...

Summit Police Blotter

February 12, 2018

2/1 - At 0955 hours a report was taken for a theft of a street sign. The unlawful incident occurred between an unknown time frame on Pine Grove Avenue. Value of the street sign was not immediately available at the time of the report.

2/5 - Roberto C. Noel-Berman, 23, of Summit was arrested and charged with possession of CDS. Mr. Noel-Berman was released with a pending court date.

2/5 - ...

Assistance Programs Available for JCP&L Customers to Help with Winter Heating Bills

February 16, 2018

As the cold weather continues, financial assistance programs are available for Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L) customers who need help with winter heating bills.

Assistance to qualifying JCP&L customers is available through the Lifeline, Universal Service Fund (USF), Weatherization, Payment Assistance for Gas and Electric (PAGE) and New Jersey SHARES programs.

Lifeline ...

Video: Point View's Deitze Tell CNBC Fed is 'On Track' for March Rate Hike

Point View Wealth Management's Founder, President and Chief Investment Strategist, David Dietze, live on CNBC on how to position your portfolio despite more volatility:

cnbc.com/video

For nearly 25 years, Point View Wealth Management, Inc. has been working with families in Summit and beyond, providing customized portfolio management services and comprehensive ...

Doing Well While Doing Good

The new tax law is predicted to reduce significantly the number of taxpayers who itemize deductions.  That has some concerned about charitable giving. There are ways for taxpayers who do not itemize deductions to give to charity and still receive some tax benefits.

Give from your IRA. Those aged 70-1/2 or older, who must take required minimum distributions from retirement accounts, can ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast Medical Minute: Atlantic Orthopedic Institute’s Scoliosis and Spinal Deformity Center

On this episode of the AtlantiCast Medical Minute, we’ll take you inside the Atlantic Orthopedic Institute’s Scoliosis and Spinal Deformity Center, with the center’s director, Jason Lowenstein, MD.

Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1M7euCp86-c

Let the Games Begin

I am truly awed by the Olympics.  Watching these superb young athletes on TV inspires me to renew my membership to the gym and pursue my lifelong dream of taking home the gold.  

 

The problem is that in my deluded head, I can see actually see myself standing atop the podium.  I am wrapped in a puffy designer ski coat with a huge piece of bling slung around my neck ...

Movies! Movies! Movies! - Three Ways to Enjoy Movies

Most people who use the Summit Free Public Library are familiar with our video collection: thousands of DVDs and nearly 800 BluRays -- and growing!

In addition to recent box-office hits and Hollywood classics, we have foreign films, anime, and musical performances from Aida to ZZ Top. Binge-watch a must-see TV series, discover a new one, or introduce your kids to your childhood ...