From a leper colony in India to an American research station on the Antarctic Peninsula, from the back rooms of the White House to the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan, Evidence of My Existence tells a unique and riveting story of seventeen years spent racing from one photo assignment to the next. It is also a story of photojournalism and theconsequences of obsessive wanderlust.
When the book opens, Jim Lo Scalzo is a blur to his wife, her remarkable tolerance wearing thin. She is heading to the hospital with her second miscarriage, and Jim is heading to Baghdad to cover the American invasion of Iraq. He hates himself for this—for not giving her a child, for deserting her when she soobviously needs him, for being consumed by his job—but how to stop moving? Sure, there have been some tough trips. He’s been spit on by Mennonites in Missouri, by heroin addicts in Pakistan, and by the KKK in South Carolina. He’s contracted hepatitis on the Navajo Nation, endured two bouts of amoebic dysentery in India and Burma and four cases of giardia in Nepal, Peru, Afghanistan, and Cuba. He’s been shot with rubber bullets in Seattle, knocked to the ground by a water cannon in Quebec, and sprayed with more teargas than he cares to recall. But photojournalism is his career, and travel is his compulsivecraving.
We follow Lo Scalzo through the maze of airports and crowds and countries as he chases the career he has always wanted, struggles with his family problems, and reveals the pleasures of a life singularly focused. For him, as for so many photojournalists, it is always about the going.