Using war as anti war material. In 1924 Ernst Friedrich produced a book of images that had been censored or suppressed. These images are a graphic account of what we now call war crimes along with horrendous wounds inflicted on soldiers from the perpetual by-product war delivers.
Having just watched Junger/Hetherington’s film ‘Restepo’ questions of using war against war have been playing on my mind. Hetherington’s own book ‘Infidels’ seems to be in stark contrast to the film. To me ‘Infidels’ is problematic in an overwhemlingly propaganda-ic way to me it comes across as a kind of war supporting war product but the film ‘Restrepo’ I believe gives you a glimpse of the war against war feeling when the stupidity of the situation becomes apparent and the sheer blinked, offensive, arrogance of the leadership system comes to light…we see in the movie possibly the worset meeting to win hearts and minds where a commander address elders with the words fuck and fucking being used every other word we also witness an incident of the killing of a cow that gets laughed off as a bit of fun rather than a more serious issues of causing locals to loose face. We also have the rare insight to view a straight up case of ‘collateral damage’ – the injury and killing of civilians…to be precise, young defenceless innocent children.
…offering up another perspective which I believe to be a considered contextual understanding to present war documentation in the photojournalist sense is Simon Norfolk;
Another interesting project on the subject worth investigating is ‘The day nobody died’ by Broombery & Chanarin.