Blinded WW1 soldiers and blindfolded Iraqi prisoners  

 

   picturing war  

After WW1 the pacifist Ernst Friedrich set up an Anti-War Museum in Berlin. The collection contained many grim and disturbing photographs from the battlefield, many of which he published in a book - War on War -reprinted many times since.

His purpose, unlike the selectors of photographs of war that we usually see was to contrast official statements with actual events thus revealing the bias in the selection and the frequent dishonesty of official statements.



Photographs do not 'speak for themselves'.

  

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                                                    British soldiers  Iraq 1991
 
        Soldiers photographing scenes of devastation, corpses and even
        body parts is as old as the camera. Many of the grimmest pictures
        from WW1 - rarely published - were taken by amateur
        photographers - the soldiers themselves.

  

 

 

A cenotaph is an empty tomb erected in honour of or to commemorate someone whose body is elsewhere. Cenotaphs provided an opportunity for a 'pretend' burial when no body is available. Often it was the bodies of soldiers who died in foreign wars and could not be recovered for burial and so the concept of cenotaphs became associated with military memorials.