Chim: David Seymour's Humanist Photography
National Gallery of Art, home page
Image: David Seymour (Chim), Breaking into a Food Store, Port Said, 1956, gelatin silver print David Seymour (Chim)
Breaking into a Food Store, Port Said, 1956
gelatin silver print
National Gallery of Art, Gift of Ben Shneiderman
© David Seymour Estate/Magnum Photos

Port Said

Breaking into a Food Store, Port Said

Port Said was devastated by the fighting. Ben Bradlee, a Newsweek correspondent who later went on to be editor of the Washington Post, was one of the journalists with whom Chim traveled. He described Port Said as "an ugly, festering sore on the mouth of the Suez Canal," with a "choking, inescapable smell of death, smoke, and sewage."

Desperate food shortages led to riots and, as seen here, the looting of food stores. Frank White, the Time-Life Paris bureau chief, who traveled the city with Chim and Bradlee, recalled Chim's fearlessness: "I remember many occasions when we had driven up to particularly nasty food riots…where we had been warned that everyone still had arms. Dave would have already made two, three, or a dozen pictures of the scene, but in each case he kept shooting in spite of our entreaties to leave. When making pictures, he seemed to be an entirely different man."