Special to the Tribune-Star
TERRE HAUTE —
When photojournalist Stephen Ferry was a boy growing up in Cambridge, Mass., his parents did not allow a TV in their home, so he filled his curiosity about the world by studying photographs in magazines, and especially LIFE magazine. By age 12 his favorite hangout was the photographic shop around the corner from his home, where he was shown how to develop and print pictures.
“The War in Vietnam was in progress,” Ferry recalled. “Many photos in LIFE showing the turmoil of the war really engaged my mind.”
As a man, Ferry has become a renowned photographer and winner of numerous prizes and honors due to his consciousness-raising pictures in strife-torn areas of the world such as Rwanda, Africa; the Middle East, Eastern Europe and South America. His pictures have appeared in such publications as National Geographic and The New York Times.
As a result of the March 2012 publication by Umbrage Editions of his book, “Violentology: A Manual of the Colombian Conflict,” Ferry will be in Terre Haute from Oct. 15 through the 29th as part of his year-long tour at colleges and universities across the United States promoting his book and informing the public of the human rights tragedy in Colombia.
Ferry is coming to Terre Haute by the invitation of Rose-Hulman, where he will give lectures about photography and the human rights crisis in Colombia.
“I spent 10 years working on my book,” Ferry said. “As photographers we always hope our work can awaken consciousness. … The problem in Colombia is not simple. It is very nuanced, but U.S. taxpayers are spending almost $9 billion dollars a year there. Americans should be aware that what we are doing has consequences they do not realize.”
Ferry said about four million Indigenous people have been displaced as a consequence of being caught in a crossfire between corporate interests, drug cartels, and governmental agencies that want their land because it is rich in gold, oil, emeralds, and other valuable resources. Further complicating the problem, to a large degree the human rights crisis is taking place in remote areas out of the sight of tourists and even most Colombians.
While in Terre Haute, Ferry will be giving public lectures and doing book signings at the following colleges and institutions: Rose-Hulman on Tuesday; Indiana State University on Wednesday; Terre Haute Unitarian-Universalist Church on Oct. 21, Ivy Tech Community College-Wabash Valley on Oct. 22, St. Mary-of-the-Woods College on Oct. 22 (his visit will be sponsored by the student Peace and Justice Committee); and at Indiana University in Bloomington on Oct. 24. Call the institutions for exact times and locations.
For more information on Ferry’s book see www.