Proust Q 5.0 modified: Shaney Komulainen

December 11, 2013

I have known Shaney (or Shani) Komulainen since shortly after I moved to Montreal, in November 1997. I knew her as a photographer among the many that I came to know through my work in the Montreal media at the Mirror and then at The Gazette, where I would soon work. Beers in the American, the great horrible seedy bar opposite the old Gazette building on St. Antoine St., a grimy old pub where many a great journalistic venture was hatched or threatened and where photogs would hang out. I knew she was a photographer who didn’t work as much as she once had, but didn’t know why, though I’d heard some rumblings about an accident. Then I discovered she was the one behind one of the most iconic photos of the last … (cripes!) 23 years in Canada – soldier nose to nose with a Mohawk warrior wearing a scarf over his face, in 1990. A moment in time, during the Oka crisis, that caught the breath of anyone who saw it.

This Q&A with Shaney, conducted by Mark Taylor and posted by Tamara Baluja at j-source, is a very thoughtful profile of Shaney, her past work, her accident and what she’s up to now. A pleasure to fill in the blanks on a relentlessly cheerful, generous person. (Incidentally, the Q&A is part of what will be more photo coverage at this journalism project, which you can read about here.)

Here’s Shaney. Catching up with the photographer behind the iconic Oka standoff photo

And I’ll be getting back in the Q&A business myself. Stay tuned. And hey, thanks for dropping by.


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