People and Place

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Exhibition - Shaped By War

Sunday I visited Don McCullin's exhibition Shaped By War at the Imperial War Museum. It was the biggest collection of is work I had seen covering his early work as a teenager in Finsbury Park, through his years as a war correspondent then his work with aids victims in Africa and his most recent work landscapes in England.  All his work is powerful but especially his war photography. How he managed to take some of those images and not lose humanity is a testament to how strong he surely is.
For me the most striking element to his photography is how he captures emotion, you are really drawn into the image. He makes war personal. Looking at these images  wonder how soldiers manage to kill one another. Maybe that is why it has become more high tech now and fought from planes thousands of feet away from their victims.
Equally his photos of African aids victims draws you in. As he (Don McCullin) says in the short film accompanying this work, don't look away from these images because they are too awful, look at them and let them influence your consciousness. Although at the end he felt that his images hadn't changed anything. War and war crimes continue.
In a world that is bombarded with images it is pictures like these that stand out and really count.

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