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Book Review – David Shneer: Grief (2020)

Written at the occasion of the 80th commemoration of the German invasion of the Soviet Union on 22 June 1941

“Human suffering. Will it be remembered in centuries to come? … Tears and whispers, a cry of pain and despair, the last sighs and groans of the dying – all this disappears along with the smoke and dust blown across the steppe by the wind,” Vasily Grossman muses in Stalingrad (2020: 550).

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‘Reimpressions’ by Ana Catarina Pinho – New artwork on imageandpeace.com

© Ana Catarina Pinho, Reimpressions, 2020-ongoing. Unknown photographer, circa 1945. From the artist's photography collection.
© Ana Catarina Pinho, Reimpressions, 2020-ongoing.
Unknown photographer, circa 1945.
From the artist’s photography collection.

Image & Peace proudly presents Reimpressions by Ana Catarina Pinho, the third artwork commissioned by and displayed on imageandpeace.com.

Reimpressions, a photography and video installation, is, in the artist’s words, “the first chapter of a wider investigation on photographic practices, memory, representation and discourse. This ongoing visual essay explores vernacular photographies and its potential towards reframing pre-established categories, knowledge regimes and discursive reconstructions.”

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Introducing the Visualizing War Project at the University of St Andrews

War is the negative reference point for peace narratives, and peace is the positive reference point for war narratives. As such, there is an intimate relationship between peace narratives and war narratives. War photographers, for example, visualize peace negatively by showing its absence. They do so, not to celebrate war but to show, in photographer Don McCullin’s words, that “war is bad” and that it should be abolished as a means of dealing with conflict.

Because of the intimate relationship between war narratives and peace narratives, we would like to introduce the project Visualizing War: Interplay between Battle Narratives in Ancient and Modern Cultures at the University of St Andrews.

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WAYS OF SHOWING PEACE (II): Visualizing Contested Peace

Reflecting on the visualization of peace, one situation plays vividly in front of my eyes that I encountered on a summer day at the Baščaršija square in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. At the center of the square, you can find Sebilj, a wooden fountain from the Ottoman era. About this fountain it is said that travellers who drink from its water will one day return to Sarajevo. Amidst the crowded square, filled with tourists and locals, I saw a little boy, maybe three or four years old, standing on the step of the fountain. What stroke me was seeing this little boy holding and playing with a toy-rifle. He happily aimed at random passers-by, imitating shooting sounds. The boy attracted a lot of people’s attention, most of whom were laughingly pointing at him, being entertained, some even actively engaging with him, acting as if they were hit by a bullet, pretending to fall to the ground, fatally wounded by the boy’s rifle. 

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Richard Mosse, Tristes Tropiques (Jack Shainman Gallery)

The title of the Irish photographer Richard Mosse’s most recent project, Tristes Tropiques, is borrowed from the memoirs of the French anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss, originally published in 1955 – a book about “insignificant happenings” and “trivial circumstances” that the anthropologist encountered in Brazil among the Caduveo, Bororo, Nambikwara, and Tupi-Kawahib. According to Mosse, quoted in the Guardian article referenced below, Lévi-Strauss’ journeys “were similar enough to some of my own, almost a century later, in terms of the axes he travelled along.”

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Book Review – Can Art Aid In Resolving Conflicts? (2018)

We receive much inspiration and many ideas for our work from encountering art, for we think that art and culture play a major role in our societies, heavily shaping all sorts of social interactions and performing a social function. Not surprisingly, we got very curious when we came across the edited volume Can Art Aid In Resolving Conflicts? The book features 103 individuals, most of them introduced as artists, others as curators, museum directors or researchers, for example.

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New Partnership with ARCHIVO – Photography and Visual Culture Research Platform

We are delighted to announce that imageandpeace.com has established a partnership with Archivo Platform.

Founded in 2012 by Ana Catarina Pinho, “Archivo is an independent research platform dedicated to reflecting on photography and visual culture through research, editorial and curatorial activities. Archivo defines itself through a series of annual projects developed through an interdisciplinary research network that contributes to traverse different disciplines and foster theoretical, practical and critical interventions, creating links between scholarship, artistic and cultural practices.”

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Book Review – David Maisel: Proving Ground (2020)

War has different temporalities. There is the actual war – the execution of organized large-scale physical force – and there is its aftermath. Both temporalities are explored in photography in abundance, capturing visually what war looks like and what remains of it.

There is a third temporality, however, also a “signature of violence” (Manaugh 2020: 19), yet one that does not appear prominently in photography. This temporality references war’s preparations, its “spatial prerequisites” (Manaugh 2020: 11): the locations, buildings and sites where war is being prepared for, where armies train, where weapons systems are developed and constructed, and where the effects of warfare are researched. Without this dimension, the visualization of war remains incomplete.

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