Photojournalism Project #Dysturb Lands In NYC

Curators’ Corner

Photojournalism Project #Dysturb Lands In NYC


Photo on wheat paste by Moises Saman/Magnum. (© Jaime Rojo)

If you are traveling the streets of New York City anytime in the near future, prepare to be randomly stopped in your tracks by a photojournalism/street art project titled #Dysturb.

Started by French photojournalists Pierre Terdjman and Benjamin Girette, #Dysturb has been hitting the walls of New York City buildings with chilling black and white posters of life in war-torn countries, past and present. The various wheat pasted photos – currently scattered around the city from Brooklyn to the Bronx – include harrowing scenes from the current conflicts in Syria, Iraq and the Ukraine. Every photograph is marked with the #Dysturb hashtag, a URL address and a short description of what the viewer is looking at.

The NYC contingent formed in mid-October when Terdjman and Girette arrived in the Big Apple after launching #Dysturb in various other international cities, such as Paris. According to the co-founders, #Dysturb was born out of a growing frustration with the corporate media’s refusal to show journalistic photographs that may be troubling to their audience, thus leaving the public in the dark about the devastation in war-torn regions.

According to #Dysturb’s website, the project’s goal is to raise global consciousness by taking photojournalism to the streets.

“By taking on public spaces with human scale pictures, #Dysturb cut out from traditional publishing avenues and offers a new visibility to photojournalism.

It’s the strong will to focus on the essence of our work: give to see and relay testimonies of people that trust us on the ground.”

Although posting photographs in public spaces without permission is punishable by law, Pierre Terdjman is quick to separate himself from other illegal street artists.

“Our goal is to get the people closer to the world we live in and as photojournalists we see with the view of reporters. We use soft wheat paste that can be taken down easily, we don’t vandalize. We try to use the urban space to show the pictures and we consider how the foot traffic will be in front of the pics. But again never in any way would we vandalize,” he said in an interview with Brooklyn Street Art.

Asked how New York City has responded to the movement, Benjamin Girette gave rave reviews:

“NYC is full of insane and good ideas when you deal with media, photojournalism and documentary photography. The energy is incredible and that’s something you’re looking for when you run a project like #Dysturb,” he said.

To learn more about the day-to-day happenings of #Dysturb in New York, visit the project’s Facebook Page.


Photo on wheat paste by Moises Saman/Magnum. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Photo on wheat paste by Richard Jeanelle Pour/Paris Match. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Photo on wheat paste by Manuel Litran/Paris Match. (photo © Jaime Rojo)