Trotz längst bekannter Gefahren, die von opioidhaltigen Schmerzmitteln ausgehen, trotz Aufschreie von Abhängigen, trotz der vielen Toten durch Überdosen – und trotz Warnungen von Gesundheitsexperten: In Australien werden immer noch Schmerzmittel dieser Art verschrieben und können in Apotheken für wenig Geld gekauft werden.
Menschen allen Alters und aus allen sozialen Schichten fallen in eine von Ärzten verschriebene Abhängigkeit. Auslöser für den unaufhaltbaren Absturz in den Rausch sind nicht Verzweiflung oder das soziale Umfeld, sondern Probleme wie Rückenschmerzen, Gelenkbeschwerden oder Zahnschmerzen. Die tragische Geschichte von Sam Ware und seiner Mutter Deb, die der Fotograf David Goldmann in stillen und eindrucksvollen Bildern dokumentiert, steht symbolisch für viele Menschen in Australien.
Sam Wares Absturz in die Sucht begann mit dem Ziehen seiner Weisheitszähne, der Behandlung mit einem Schmerzmittel, und führte dazu, dass der junge Mann innerhalb von drei Jahren sechzig Überdosen erlitt. Durch die Sucht verlor er Freunde, Familie – und sein gutes Leben. David Goldmann erzählt uns in seinen Bildern eine Geschichte von Mutter und Sohn, von menschlichen Brücken, die unter der Last menschlichen Versagens zerbrechen und von einem Medikament, das Leben zerstört.
Zu seinem Fotoprojekt hat uns David Goldmann einige Fragen beantwortet:
First of all we’d be interested to know what you experienced during the photo shoot and what made you pick that particular theme?
I had covered the opioid crisis here in the U.S. and the AP was doing a project that looked at what other countries the crisis was spreading to. Our Sydney reporter Kristen Gelineau had done tremendous work to find people across the Australian continent who could to speak to their personal struggle with opioids. I couldn’t believe how easy it was for people like Sam to obtain the drugs legally and so affordably because they’re subsidized, whereas in the U.S., the ease and cost of obtaining prescription opioids becomes unsustainable and many times people turn to heroin and other street drugs to prevent the withdrawal. Because of this, in Australia, the epidemic is very clean in comparison, it’s confined to people’s homes, for now at least. It was heartbreaking to see Deb, Sam’s mother, do everything she possibly can to save his life and in the end, no amount of love and devotion is enough to get him to stop using. It has to come from him. Her strength is amazing.
When and where were you born, where have you been educated and what are stages of your professional career?
I was born in New York City and earned a bachelor’s degree in Journalism with a minor in Spanish from the University of Rhode Island. After doing a few internships, my first job out of university was at a weekly newspaper in Rhode Island. Two years later, I went to California and freelanced for a year, then worked for the Boston Herald as a staff photographer for 7 years before returning to New York where I freelanced for the AP, New York Times and Getty and anyone else who would hire me. Two years later I was hired as staff photographer for the AP in Atlanta. I’m now on the enterprise team at the AP and work on large issue focused photo projects.
What is your standard camera equipment? Is there any special or favorite gear?
I do most of my shooting with a Canon 5D Mark IV which I really like. I have also used both Canon and Fuji mirrorless cameras on assignments and found them to be very helpful in sensitive situations. I’ve recently been shooting medium format black and white film using a Rolleiflex on some assignments and have really enjoyed it.
How do you process/edit your images? What particular darkroom technique, software or apps do you utilize?
After an assignment, I’ll edit all my images and create a wide edit to show my editor. From there we collectively narrow the edit to create a final edit for publishing. I use Photo Mechanic to do the edit and metadata and Photoshop to do the toning and cropping.
Do you have photographic role models?
I’d have to say my biggest photographic role model is my father. He was a still photographer, Louis Goldman born in Frankfurt in 1925 by the way, for major motion pictures. He worked on movie sets and one of the first movies he did was the Alamo with John Wayne. He worked with everyone from Al Pacino to Bill Murray and did close to a 100 films by the time he died in 1996. His job was to document the production of these films and he had a terrific eye for quiet, candid moments. They were unscripted scenes not really captured before in the movie industry. I never realized how much he influenced me until after he passed away. I look back on his work now and see what a true photojournalist he was for his time and in that environment. I didn’t find the love of photography until six months before my father passed. Some may say what a shame, I say what a blessing. He left this place having seen the passion that lived in him, born within me. I could write so much about him but I’ll try to keep my answers brief.
Is there a portfolio or photobook that inspired you?
Other photographers or work who have inspired me throughout my career are Japanese photojournalists Q. Sakamaki and Kuni Takahashi and fine art photographer Stephan Brigidi. I’ve had the pleasure of working and learning from them all.
Where can one find more of your photographic work? Website, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter
…My website is still under construction but a limited collection can be found at goldmanphotos.com. I’m also an occasional poster in Instagram, apdavidgoldman. And the AP has a collection of my work viewable on their site.
Mehr von David Goldmann findet sich auf der Website von AP: http://www.apimages.com/Collection/Landing/Photographer-David-Goldman-/7c4830417a4d4cdea7b2e653d2b6c957