Foto-periodismo

Damir Sagolj / Bosnia y Herzegovina / Reuters / 1er premio Fotografías individuales / Vida cotidiana

El fotoperiodismo ha coincidido en dos eventos importantes en la ciudad de México. La muestra fotográfica ExpoFotoperiodismo 2012 se encuentra en el Museo Universitario del Chopo, en ella se presenta el trabajo de reporteros gráficos que radican en México; y World Press Photo 2012 se encuentra en el Museo Franz Mayer, en donde se expone el trabajo de los ganadores del concurso de fotoperiodismo más importante a nivel internacional.

Visité ambas exposiciones el mismo día con la idea de escribir sobre las imágenes que me dediqué a ver por largo tiempo. Mientras caminaba y veía las fotos recordé las palabras que Paul Valéry escribió hace muchos años: “Igual que el agua, el gas y la corriente eléctrica vienen a nuestras casas desde lejos para responder a nuestras necesidades mediante un esfuerzo casi nulo, así también nos abasteceremos de imágenes visuales o auditivas que surgirán y se desvanecerán al menor gesto, casi sin una señal”.

Valéry predijo la velocidad con que las imágenes fotográficas aparecerían en la actualidad frente a nuestros ojos y cómo se desvanecerían con la misma velocidad, casi sin una señal. La levedad de las imágenes ―pues ya no hablamos ni siquiera de los rollos fotográficos tangibles, sino sólo de bits― que inundan los medios de comunicación, permite que decenas de miles de imágenes le den vuelta al mundo en cuestión de minutos.

Nietzsche sostenía que en el periodismo confluyen dos tendencias: “en él se dan la mano la extensión de la cultura y la reducción de la cultura”. Esa extensión sacrifica la densidad de la cultura, la adelgaza por así decirlo, también la prolonga hasta lugares que no podría haber alcanzado de otra forma, pero le resta fuerza, la reduce; y una cultura debilitada no es acaso un síntoma de una sociedad debilitada. Sin duda la cultura periodística ―la del comentario noticioso y la imagen fugaz― ha desplazado la reflexión profunda, la que se sumerge en la existencia y desentraña de ella, muchas veces con violencia, algo que se funde en nuestra conciencia y se vuelve conocimiento del mundo, de la vida.

La imagen visual que desplaza a la anterior con la misma velocidad con que un instante sacrifica al anterior ha sustituido a la cultura, pues “el periodista, el esclavo del momento presente, ha llegado a substituir al guía para todas la épocas, el que libera del presente”. De esta forma, la imagen visual se ha insertado dentro de la cultura como el elemento sintetizador de la realidad, de los hechos que llegan velozmente a la computadora, el celular, o la tablet, creando un sentimiento de conocimiento, cuando en realidad, a las imágenes se las lleva el viento de la información fresca y nos dejan la resaca del que cree haber visto algo.

Y a todo esto, ¿qué decir de las imágenes, pueden trascender la inmediatez del propio periodismo? Sí, si el fotógrafo logra capturar lo que Antonino en La aventura de un fotógrafo de Italo Calvino―: “una imagen fuera del espacio y del tiempo”. Y hay imágenes así, “violencias fotográficas” diría Calvino, y es que en la fotografía hay algo violento que le arrebata al devenir su imagen, a través de la reproducción analógica de la realidad, creando una imitación de ésta al infinito. Tal vez por eso los pueblos primitivos le temían a la fotografía, especialmente al retrato, que es la duplicidad del yo en un objeto.

Entonces, ¿qué es lo que busca decir el fotoperiodista con su trabajo? Sin duda busca la verdad, alguna verdad por lo menos ―recordemos que tan sólo en México han muerto muchas personas ejerciendo este oficio―. ¿Las imágenes pueden decir la verdad de algo, siendo que son tan sólo la delgada envoltura de una realidad que va más allá de los ojos? Platón posiblemente condenaría a los fotógrafos, pues consideraría que nos engañan con sus imágenes, con las apariencias de la realidad.

Las fotografías no dicen qué es la cosa en sí; para Roland Barthes una fotografía sólo dice “esto, es esto, es asá, es tal cual, y no dice otra cosa; una foto no puede ser transformada (dicha) filosóficamente, está lastrada por la contingencia de la que es envoltura transparente y ligera”. Parece que está condenado el fotoperiodismo a buscar la verdad ―en cuanto periodismo― y no poder desde un principio aprehenderla; y aún así resultan tan seductoras las imágenes, que si no dicen la verdad de lo que son las cosas es porque ese no es su objetivo.

Es falso que una imagen diga más que mil palabras, no dice ni una, no debe decir con palabras. Lo que hace ―y lo hace muy bien― es contener la realidad cruda, como la veríamos de estar ahí frente a lo fotografiado; es evocación, un pequeño viaje de los ojos sobre las formas, ritmos y matices que por medios físicos y químicos han sido capturados. Es una narración que evoca el pasado ―aunque sea un pasado inmediato―, que permite “salir al encuentro del receptor”, diría Walter Benjamin. Encierra fragmentos del mundo, de la misma forma que encierra el placer siniestro de evocar lo que ya no es, lo que fue, lo que ha perecido.

Puede la imagen fotográfica enfrentar al espectador, fracturar su yo inmóvil encerrado en el cuarto de los ojos que no pueden ver sino aquello que está frente a ellos. La imagen visual puede revelar lo otro, lo desconocido, lo ajeno y, de esta forma, convertirse en una imagen de la imagen, otra fotografía en la mente del receptor.

El reportero gráfico, como un Ulises moderno, es un viajero ante todo, pues el viaje es lo que en verdad despierta la mirada; no se aprende viajando, se mira viajando, se refrescan los ojos. Del reportero gráfico narra Italo Calvino que “se mueve siguiendo los impulsos de las multitudes, la sangre vertida, las lágrimas, las fiestas, el delito, las convenciones de moda, la falsedad de las ceremonias oficiales”. Es el viaje en busca de la tragedia entre la posibilidad y la muerte de los instantes.

Tendríamos que hacer una diferencia, poner cada cosa en su lugar para no cometer un error, el fotoperiodismo en cuanto periodismo peca por su inmediatez, así como quien consume las imágenes sin prescribirse una crítica antes de abalanzarse sobre ellas, como niño en dulcería. Y en cuanto imagen visual extraída de la fugacidad de los medios masivos de comunicación, es como sus potencias se despliegan mejor. Como por ejemplo en las exposiciones de fotoperiodismo, ordenadas de acuerdo a un discurso que trascienda lo informativo, y que logra decir algo más de la tragedia humana.

En este sentido la fotografía puede aportar mucho más que los hechos noticiosos transitorios ―suponiendo que estos son realmente objetivos― que ocurren en todo el mundo al mismo tiempo. Sería preferible que el acento estuviera en la foto, más que en el periodismo. Puesto que la primera enfrenta al yo con el mundo a través de la imagen, y el segundo ―así como funciona actualmente― reduce la cultura al presente inmediato.

RMM/GT

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