Greg Marinovich

Pictures they say is the pocket that stores memory. It speaks a thousand times more than a thousand words. Collecting such has been the business of Greg Marinovich.

 Greg Marinovich was born in December 1962, as Greg Sabastine Marinovich. The South African became popular as a photojournalist. He was very good with war coverage, which almost claimed his life at various times.

Greg Marinovich: Professional Life

The professional life of Marinovich as a photographer was cited to have begun with a picture of Archbishop Desmond Tutu in 1985, during a protest.

He did not pursue that life however, until after he returned from Botswana. After the return, Marinovich taught himself through the art of writing and photography while he worked as a tour guide. This developed with his involvement as a photographer with Newspapers in Johannesburg. In that time he also worked on part-time basis for Financial Mail.

South Africa’s turbulent times pulled him more into photojournalism even when he had no experience. This began in August 1990 when he covered the clash between African National Congress’ supporters and Inkatha Freedom Party’s Supporters. In the battle, he shot pictures of the murder of an alleged Inkatha spy, which would later win him various awards.

Greg submitted the pictures to the Sunday Times and the Associated Press. From then on, he continued stringing for the Associated Press. He was as well stringing for New York Times, Newsweek, Time, and various other magazines and newspapers.

He got shot in 1994 in South Africa when he was covering a clash. After the incidence Greg traveled to countries such as Angola, India, Israel, and Rwanda among others. His travels were to cover for news and feature purposes.

Between 1996 and mid 1997, the South African photojournalist became chief photographer for the Associated Press in Jerusalem.

When he returned to South Africa in 1997, Greg Marinovich worked as a freelance for different newspapers. These included New York Times, Life, The Guardian, and Der Spiegel among others.

Marinovich has been a part of various exhibitions between 1990 and 2000. The first was “Somalia” in Johannesburg in the year 1992. After that came “Croatia” in 1993 also in Johannesburg. In 2000, he had another exhibition; “AIDS”, also in Johannesburg.

Currently, Marinovich works with Boston University as a journalism teacher. He also gives lectures and workshops on human rights, justice, and storytelling

In his 25 years of photography, Marinovich went to various parts of the world to cover wars. In 1991 he went to the Balkans to cover Yugoslavian conflict, and he was in Somalia in 1992 to document the war and famine ravaging the country.

Bang Bang club

Greg Marinovich was a member of the Bang Bang club, which was a group made up of photojournalists and photographers. The group was active during the late apartheid period, between 1990 and 1994. The period witnessed continuous clash between ANC and IFP supporters in preparations for elections.

The group which had a movie produced to its honor in 2010, had mainly Greg Marinovich, Kevin Carter, Ken Oosterbroek and Joao Silva. There were however other photographers that worked with The Bang Bang club including Gary Bernard and James Nachtwey.

In 1994, the bang Bang Bang Club experienced some tragedies. In April of that year, Ken Oosterbroek and Greg Marinovich were caught in a fight between ANC supporters and the National Peacekeeping Force. While Oosterbroek lost his life in the fight, Marinovich survived with serious injuries.

In July of the same year, another member of the club, Kevin Carter who won a Pulitzer Prize that same year committed suicide. The picture that won him a Pulitzer was of a vulture waiting for a starving South Sudan child in 1993 to die so that it can eat her up. The picture placed Carter’s humanity to serious judgment, and was thought to have contributed to his suicide.

Achievements and Awards

  • In 1990 he was awarded the Leica Award for Excellence
  • In the same year he went home with Visa d’Or, Scoop Award from France
  • For coverage of ANC supporters’ brutal murder of a Man they claimed was an Inkatha spy, Greg was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Spot: News photography in 1991.
  • In 1992 and 1993, he came runner up for the Pulitzer prize.
  • For services to Humanity, Greg was awarded a recognition award in 1994 by the United Nations.
  • Between 2013 and 2014, he was a Neiman Fellow at Harvard University.

Marinovich has written some books:

  • The Bang-Bang Club (with Joao Silva)
  • A Man’s Journey to Simple Abundance (a collection of essays).
  • Murder at Small Koppie: The Real Story of The Marikana Massacre(Explorative nonfiction on the massacre of mine workers in South Africa’s North West Province, in 2012 )