The scars of war: how good is photography at capturing conflict?Sean O'Hagan, The Guardian Online November 25, 2014
‘People aren’t supposed to look back,”
wrote Kurt Vonnegut in Slaughterhouse 5, his absurdist anti-war novel written in 1969. “I’m certainly not going to do it any more. I’ve finished my war book now. This one is a failure, and had to be, since it was written by a pillar of salt.”
It is Vonnegut’s novel, rather than an image, that is the starting point for Conflict, Time, Photography. A notice next to the exhibition entrance describes how the book came to be written (Vonnegut was an American POW who witnessed the firebombing of Dresden on 13 February 1945) and how the structure of the show echoes Vonnegut’s use of narrative time shifts to move freely through the history of photography and conflict. It is left to the viewer to decide whether photography can look back any more successfully than fiction at events that often, as Vonnegut concluded, defy description or rational understanding.
Haven't we been here before?Ian Jack, The Guardian April 23, 2011
Simon Norfolk pairs photographs of an occupied Afghanistan – from 130 years ago and today. What can the past teach us about the future, wonders Ian Jack.