From the first vistas provided by flight in balloons in the eighteenth century to the most recent sensing operations performed by military drones, the history of aerial imagery has marked the transformation of how people perceived their world, better understood their past, and imagined their future. In Aerial Aftermaths Caren Kaplan traces this cultural history, showing how aerial views operate as a form of world-making tied to the times and places of war. Kaplan’s investigation of the aerial arts of war—painting, photography, and digital imaging—range from England's surveys of Scotland following the defeat of the 1746 Jacobite rebellion and early twentieth-century photographic mapping of Iraq to images taken in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. Throughout, Kaplan foregrounds aerial imagery's importance to modern visual culture and its ability to enforce colonial power, demonstrating both the destructive force and the potential for political connection that come with viewing from above.
In 2005, photographer Chris Hondros captured a striking image of a young Iraqi girl in the aftermath of the killing of her parents by American soldiers. The shot stunned the world and has since become iconic—comparable to the infamous photo by Nick Ut of a Vietnamese girl running from a napalm attack. Both images serve as microcosms for their respective conflicts. Afterimages looks at the work of war photographers like Hondros and Ut to understand how photojournalism interacts with the American worldview.
Liam Kennedy here maps the evolving relations between the American way of war and photographic coverage of it. Organized in its first section around key US military actions over the last fifty years, the book then moves on to examine how photographers engaged with these conflicts on wider ethical and political grounds, and finally on to the genre of photojournalism itself. Illustrated throughout with examples of the photographs being considered, Afterimages argues that photographs are important means for critical reflection on war, violence, and human rights. It goes on to analyze the high ethical, sociopolitical, and legalistic value we place on the still image’s ability to bear witness and stimulate action.
Cold War Camera
Thy Phu, Erina Duganne, and Andrea Noble, editors Duke University Press, 2023 Library of Congress D843.C653 2022
Cold War Camera explores the visual mediation of the Cold War and illuminates photography’s role in shaping the ways it was prosecuted and experienced. The contributors show how the camera stretched the parameters of the Cold War beyond dominant East-West and US-USSR binaries and highlight the significance of photography from across the global South. Among other topics, the contributors examine the production and circulation of the iconic figure of the “revolutionary Vietnamese woman” in the 1960s and 1970s; photographs connected with the coming of independence and decolonization in West Africa; family photograph archives in China and travel snapshots by Soviet citizens; photographs of apartheid in South Africa; and the circulation of photographs of Inuit Canadians who were relocated to the extreme Arctic in the 1950s. Highlighting the camera’s capacity to envision possible decolonialized futures, establish visual affinities and solidarities, and advance calls for justice to redress violent proxy conflicts, this volume demonstrates that photography was not only crucial to conducting the Cold War, it is central to understanding it.
Contributors. Ariella Azoulay, Jennifer Bajorek, Erina Duganne, Evyn Lê Espiritu Gandhi, Eric Gottesman, Tong Lam, Karintha Lowe, Ángeles Donoso Macaya, Darren Newbury, Andrea Noble, Sarah Parsons, Gil Pasternak, Thy Phu, Oksana Sarkisova, Olga Shevchenko, Laura Wexler, Guigui Yao, Donya Ziaee, Marta Ziętkiewicz
"It was dawn before I fell asleep, and later in the morning I was only half-awake as I fed a fresh sheet of paper into the typewriter and began to copy the notes from the previous day out of my book. But I wasn't too weary to type the date line firmly as if I'd been writing date lines all my life: from the front at iwo jima march 5--
Then I remembered and added two words. under fire--
They looked great."
In 1965, Wisconsin native Georgette "Dickey" Chapelle became the first female American war correspondent to be killed in action. Now, "Dickey Chapelle Under Fire" shares her remarkable story and offers readers the chance to experience Dickey's wide-ranging photography, including several photographs taken during her final patrol in Vietnam.
Dickey Chapelle fought to be taken seriously as a war correspondent and broke down gender barriers for future generations of female journalists. She embedded herself with military units on front lines around the globe, including Iwo Jima and Okinawa, the Dominican Republic, and Vietnam. Dickey sometimes risked her life to tell the story--after smuggling aid to refugees fleeing Hungary, she spent almost two months in a Hungarian prison. For twenty-five years, Dickey's photographs graced the pages of "National Geographic," the "National Observer," "Life," and others. Her tenacity, courage, and compassion shine through in her work, highlighting the human impact of war while telling the bigger story beyond the battlefield.
In "Dickey Chapelle Under Fire," the American public can see the world through Dickey's lens for the first time in almost fifty years, with a foreword by Jackie Spinner, former war correspondent for "The Washington Post."
Iraq | Perspectives
Benjamin Lowy Duke University Press, 2011 Library of Congress DS79.762L69 2011 | Dewey Decimal 956.70443
Selected by William Eggleston as Winner The Center for Documentary Studies / Honickman First Book Prize in Photography
Benjamin Lowy’s powerful and arresting color photographs, taken over a six-year period through Humvee windows and military-issue night vision goggles, capture the desolation of a war-ravaged Iraq as well as the tension and anxiety of both U.S. soldiers and Iraqi civilians. To photograph on the streets unprotected was impossible for Lowy, so he made images that illuminate this difficulty by shooting photographs through the windows and goggles meant to help him, and soldiers, to see. In doing so he provides us with a new way of looking at the war—an entirely different framework for regarding and thinking about the everyday activities of Iraqis in a devastated landscape and the movements of soldiers on patrol, as well as the alarm and apprehension of nighttime raids.
“Iraq was a land of blast walls and barbed wire fences. I made my first image of a concrete blast wall through the window of my armored car. These pictures show a fragment of Iraqi daily life taken by a transient passenger in a Humvee; yet they are a window to a world where work, play, tension, grief, survival, and everything in between are as familiar as the events of our own lives. . . . [In] the ‘Nightvision’ images . . . as soldiers weave through the houses and bedrooms of civilians during nighttime military raids, they encounter the faces of their suspects as well as bystanders, many of whom are parents protecting their children. . . . I hope that these images provide the viewer with momentary illumination of the fear and desperation that is war.”—Benjamin Lowy
Winner of the 2013 Jordan Schnitzer Book Award in the category of Jews and the Arts
Finalist for the 2011 National Jewish Book Award in the Holocaust category
Most view the relationship of Jews to the Soviet Union through the lens of repression and silence. Focusing on an elite group of two dozen Soviet-Jewish photographers, including Arkady Shaykhet, Alexander Grinberg, Mark Markov-Grinberg, Evgenii Khaldei, Dmitrii Baltermants, and Max Alpert, Through Soviet Jewish Eyes presents a different picture. These artists participated in a social project they believed in and with which they were emotionally and intellectually invested-they were charged by the Stalinist state to tell the visual story of the unprecedented horror we now call the Holocaust.
These wartime photographers were the first liberators to bear witness with cameras to Nazi atrocities, three years before Americans arrived at Buchenwald and Dachau. In this passionate work, David Shneer tells their stories and highlights their work through their very own images-he has amassed never-before-published photographs from families, collectors, and private archives.
Through Soviet Jewish Eyes helps us understand why so many Jews flocked to Soviet photography; what their lives and work looked like during the rise of Stalinism, during and then after the war; and why Jews were the ones charged with documenting the Soviet experiment and then its near destruction at the hands of the Nazis.
In Warring Visions, Thy Phu explores photography from dispersed communities throughout Vietnam and the Vietnamese diaspora, both during and after the Vietnam War, to complicate narratives of conflict and memory. While the visual history of the Vietnam War has been dominated by American documentaries and war photography, Phu turns to photographs circulated by the Vietnamese themselves, capturing a range of subjects, occasions, and perspectives. Phu's concept of warring visions refers to contrasts in the use of war photos in North Vietnam, which highlighted national liberation and aligned themselves with an international audience, and those in South Vietnam, which focused on family and everyday survival. Phu also uses warring visions to enlarge the category of war photography, a genre that usually consists of images illustrating the immediacy of combat and the spectacle of violence, pain, and wounded bodies. She pushes this genre beyond such definitions by analyzing pictures of family life, weddings, and other quotidian scenes of life during the war. Phu thus expands our understanding of how war is waged, experienced, and resolved.