Pippa Oldfield offers a nuanced and inclusive understanding of war in her new photo book.
Photography and War proposes a radically-expanded notion of war photography.
There are countless books on war photography.
Most of these focus on dramatic images made by photojournalists in combat zones.
Photography and War instead encompasses a far broader terrain of geographies, chronologies, practices and viewpoints.
Oldfied considers photography’s fundamental role in military reconnaissance, propaganda and protest, exposure of war crimes, and the memorialisation of war, among other themes.
Photography and War includes iconic images by well-known names such as Roger Fenton and Robert Capa.
However, the viewpoints of people who have historically been overlooked – women and photographers from diasporic and non-Western backgrounds – are forcefully present.
As a result, this book offers a nuanced and more inclusive understanding of war as a far-reaching undertaking in which anyone might be implicated and affected.
Richly illustrated, with some photos published for the first time, it offers an accessible and well-rounded introduction to perhaps photography’s most contested, complex and emotive subject.
Pippa Oldfield is a photo-historian and curator who has worked on many exhibitions on the theme of photography and war.
She is head of programme at Impressions Gallery in Bradford, honorary research fellow at Durham University, and visiting research fellow at University of Leeds.
Click here to order your copy of Photography and War.
For an audio recording of Oldfield speaking at the book launch click here.
Main image: Gohar Dashti, from the series Today’s Life and War, 2008 © Gohar Dashti