01 August 2012


Gerda Taro at the Guadalajara front in Spain (July 1937).

Today is photographer Gerda Taro's birthday. Born Gerta Pohorylle on August 1, 1910 in Stuttgart, Germany to a Polish Jewish family, she escaped the rising anti-semitism in her country in 1934 and moved to Paris where she met another young Jewish emigré, a  Hungarian photographer named Endre Friedmann. The two would form a romantic and working partnership and after changing their names (Friedmann became Robert Capa), travel to Spain to cover the civil war as photojournalists. Taro managed to capture incredible images of the realities of war and her photographs appeared in numerous publications including Vu and Ce Soir. During the retreat at the Battle of Brunete, Taro was injured when a tank rammed the car whose running board she was riding on. She died the following day on July 26, 1937. Her reported last words were "Did they take care of my camera?" The first female photojournalist to be killed while covering a war, she was just 26 years old.

I have spent a lot of time this summ
er reading about Taro and Capa and plan on writing more posts about them in the coming months. But I didn't want today to pass without mentioning this courageous pioneer who has become a favourite photographer of mine and an inspiration. So Happy Birthday Gerda.

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