17th October 2018
In John McPartland’s fourth and final Creative LIAisons blog, he describes how journalist and war correspondent, Lara Logan, left a lasting impression when she shared her inspirational story of survival.
After sitting in on statue discussions it was going to be hard to top that experience. Up stepped Lara Logan. As a journalist and war correspondent Lara has seen just about everything there is to see. Her story is one of the most compelling and inspiring I have ever heard.
As she talked of her experience in Afghanistan and Iraq you could sense this was somebody whose outlook on life was different, she placed the truth as her central focus in life. No matter where that truth came from or where it would take her.
One night on 11th February 2011 that focus would take her to Tahrir Square, Egypt. The social media revolution had led to Hosni Mubarak‘s resignation from power, and with it a mass crowd gathered in the square. Lara travelled with her team to cover the story but what happened there that night would not only change the course of the political landscape, it would change the course of Lara’s life.
Halfway into covering the story, a mob of around 200 men had started to gather and surround Lara and her team. As her camera man bent down to change his battery, they were set upon. Over the course of the next 25 minutes Lara was assaulted and raped. Pulling her limbs in multiple directions as if to rip them from her body, trying to physically rip her scalp from her head and all the while taking photographs of the event. In that moment something inside Lara changed, just as she was about to give up she realised that she couldn’t, for the sake of her children she would not accept that this was where her story ended. Just as the worst of humanity had appeared, so did the best. A group seeing the attack managed to help protect Lara, forming a human barrier between the mob and herself.
Her story is not just one of survival, but one of learning to look at life through a different lens. Lara shows us that you cannot control what happens to you in life. All you can do is take the experiences it throws at you, and use those to form who you are.
A fitting end to one of the most intense and inspiring weeks I have ever experienced.