RichaRds: i’ve been called to task many, many
times. i never blame a single person when they say,
You have no right to take this picture. i think, do i?
Mccullin: i don’t think we have the right unless
© DON MCCULLIN/COUR TES Y CON TAC T PRESS IMAGES
I have so much stuff up here that could drive me
insane: torture, executions in front of me, being
beaten in the prison by the Ugandan army [in
1972], seeing a truckload of bodies being taken
to the Nile where they fed the crocodiles. When
these things are happening you ask yourself the
$100 question: What does this have to do with
my photographic life? All I wanted to do was put
a roll of film in the camera, make a picture, and
make a print.
There’s one photo of the little starving boy,
the albino. I don’t print it anymore because
when that print used to come up in the developer it was as if it was coming to knock me over.
It was so terrible to relive that day and it was
another day I was fighting not to cry.
Photography will never be a free ride. We
love it still, but it was never a free ride.
think I loved it when I was young, but at that
time I wasn’t photographing people. As soon
as I started photographing social issues I
looked at it as a battle. [That’s] partially be-
cause when I started off, I was photographing
in the South and the pictures had a function
and they didn’t work.
Mccullin: Are you saying you think you
Above: From McCullin’s book Southern Frontiers: A Journey Across the
Roman Empire. A statue in Tripoli Castle Museum, Libya, 2005.
RichaRds: I’m not sure I ever loved it. I
RichaRds: I left there feeling very defeated.
I came back to Boston. The little book I did on
Dorchester [Dorchester Days, 1978] was derided, people said this is not the real city of
Boston. Then I did the book on breast cancer
[Exploding into Life, 1986; co-authored with
wife Dorothea Lynch]. I’m very proud of that
book. I’m very proud of Dorothea. It became,
in time, a book that helped women talk about
their bodies, and their explorations of self. At