Images of conflict
Images of conflict surround us. Online, on the news, on our phones: temporary, ephemeral and immediate. They might be directly showing battles, weapons, violence or surveillance. They may use beauty, horror or shock to engage us. They may be so painful we can hardly bear to look at them, or so difficult to understand that we give up and move on. Yet because they pass in front of our eyes quickly, and because we are usually short of time, snatching a look at the news and online streams as we go about our daily lives, there is little opportunity to look closely, to think about what the people of the countries at war are experiencing, what their rights are, why conflict is happening, and what our role is in relation to it.
The Images of Conflict site is a space where conversations can take place – about the values and limitations of art, and about how artists and photographers can best produce images which engage our curiosity and make us think.
This site is password protected, and the discussions should be treated as confidential and participated in with respect to the views of others.
Quotes about the imagery of conflict
‘To the artist or photojournalist war is an intense, transformative experience which can profoundly affect their subsequent lives and their practice. The impact of engaging in the theatre of war means they are stepping into a space which has a greater ‘.. ability to evoke a wider range of human experience than any other human endeavour. Heroism, cowardice, joy, deceit, brotherhood, violent death.’ From the introduction by Dexter Filkins to Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot: A Photographer’s Chronicle of the Iraq War. Ashley Gibson, University of Chicago Press 2007.
‘I see darkness as my voice really. I sometimes almost believe myself that I’m speaking for the victims and the casualties of war. And when I see an image which is related to war, I don’t give you a free ride.’ Don McCullin, tate.org.uk/context-comment/video/tateshots-don-mccullin-0
‘We don’t see the work as separate to social and political movements that are confronting established political and economic systems. We see it as part of those movements, the visual arm of protest. We want it to be used by people as part of their own activism, not just as pictures on the wall to contemplate.’ kennardphillipps.com/about/
‘War art is so we remember. It is as simple as that.’ Sam Plant MBE. Commander of The Light Dragoons, Helmand Province, Afghanistan from March 2012