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|Print List Price:||£15.99|
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Private Pictures: Soldiers' Inside View of War Kindle Edition
|Length: 232 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled|
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Top Customer Reviews
Ranging from the infamous American Abu Ghraib prison photographs to the soldier portraits (khaki portraits) sent back to family and loved ones, through the private photo albums of the Second World War (many now being sold on internet auction sites) back to the faked Daily Mirror pictures meant to show ill treatment of Iraqi prisoners by British soldiers and then to Israeli Defence Forces in the Occupied Territories, this book sets out to answer a multitude of questions about why servicemen and women take, swap and keep photographs - particularly of atrocities and enemy dead - often for years without looking at them.
The emphasis is on the motives of the 'ordinary' soldier - the person who is a professional soldier first and an amateur photographer second. Professional photographers are very much on the sidelines.
By using interviews and her own extensive investigations of archived material and recent exhibitions, the author (an accomplished documentary photographer and lecturer) finds many answers.
As would be expected these answers are many and varied and at times even owe something to being encouraged by government and the media in an effort to get away from what at various times is seen as the 'composed' (or contrived) mainstream press photograph to a more 'real' and 'raw' image stripped of its artfulness.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The book has a lot of interesting information, some of which is dated given the ubiquity these days of phone cams and other imaging technology that is likely vastly increasing the number and speed of such imagery (this is my assumption). Chapter 1 is primarily a discussion of the infamous Abu Ghraib (her spelling) photographs. Chapter 2 discusses World War 1 (and a little before) soldiers taking photos, apparently on a large scale despite official discouragement. Chapter 3 is titled "Telling Tales," which I found a little weak. Chapter 4, "Photographs as Resistance" is about Poland in the World War 2 era--documenting Polish resistance and what was done by the Germans, for use in the future (this also gets into the politics of the Polish in exile, those based in London and those directed by the Soviets).
Chapter 5 considers how images can harm a nation, looking at those infamous German solders' images. This gets tricky because some of the images that erupted in controversy in the 1990s appear to have been actually of Soviet atrocity, faked or otherwise questionable. The issue is huge for Germans in the sense that photographs document the involvement of everyday German military in atrocity, contradicting long-held assumptions that such crimes were done by Nazis. Chapter 6 examines the case of several British soldiers accused of brutality based on photos taken in Iraq. Chapter 7 discusses images documenting Israeli conduct in the occupied territory--documented by Israelis, in a chapter called "Breaking the Silence." This is likely to be the most controversial section of the book for readers.
The last chapter discusses images of Iraq, including American soldiers' images--she says many appear on web sites, including a sizable number of short videos made by soldiers (despite official prohibition), and a few on pornographic sites--Struk sees something of a connection between pornographic image usual formats and images of violence.
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