Every friday we will share with you the portfolios selected by Jérôme Huffer Head of the photo department of Paris Match and editor of “L’instant” blog dedicated to photojournalism. Monday is dedicated to the best pictures published during the week end, Tuesday is about a photobook, Wednesday which is the day before the magazine comes out he presents a best of to tease the readers then Friday is for a news portfolio.
by Tommy Trenchard
Tommmy Trenchard is a freelance journalist and photographer based in Sierra Leone. He is currently documenting the ongoing Ebola Crisis in West Africa. We’ve asked him about his feelings on such a work.
Working through the Ebola outbreak has been a tough and often bizarre experience. At first, the fear of the virus made working around treatment centers mentally exhausting. The disease has a huge psychological impact. Any subsequent illness contracted after spending time around Ebola patients conjures up worst-case scenarious in the mind – at one stage I tried to get myself tested for Ebola after coming down with a fever. It later turned out to be malaria instead.
Seven months on, I have become entirely accustomed to working around the virus. Despite the wild hysteria overseas, it has become clear that few catch Ebola from casual contact. In truth, it is very rare for people to contract it outside hospitals, the intimacy of family life, or at burials. If you stick to a strict no-touching rule, the risk is extremely low. Only on two occasions has it been necessary to wear protective equipment, apart from the now ubiquitous rubber boots.
Instead, what now makes the work tough is the grim and relentless routine of deaths, body-bags, chlorine and burials, which has become so familiar. Ebola has completely taken over everyday life in Freetown. Everybody is involved or affected in some way or other, and people talk of little else.
L’Œil de la Photographie is partner of L’Instant Paris Match.