Our first photobook, Missing Buildings, seeks to preserve the physical and psychological landscapes of the Second World War in London.
Over a million of London’s buildings were destroyed or damaged by bombing between 1940 and 1945. From the mysterious gap in a suburban terrace, to the incongruous post-war inner city estate, London is a vast archeological site, bearing the visible scars of its violent wartime past. But this work is not a simple record of bombsites; to our generation, the war is the distant story of an epic battle, passed down to them through books, images, and grandparents’ memories. Blurring fact and fiction, our book searches for this mythology, revealing strange apparitions of the past as they resurface in the architecture of the modern-day city. For us, Missing Buildings contemplates the effects of war upon the British psyche and suggests that the power wrought on our imaginations by the Blitz is a legacy as profound as the physical damage it caused.
— Thom and Beth Atkinson, Kent & London, England
The photographs in this series, titled Scarred Land, which were all produced in Israel, deal with war, the damage it inflicts upon the terrain, and the natural recovery over time. The battle sites and military training zones depicted have not been memorialized or preserved in any way, and are now naturally recovering from the inflicted trauma as well as being reclaimed by the earth. The focus of the imagery on war zones is to portray to the viewer that this is how we, as human beings, treat each other and the world we live in.
We are a unique species defined by our intelligence: the ability of abstract thought, understanding, self- awareness, communication, reasoning, learning, having emotional knowledge, retaining, planning, and problem solving. This intelligence enables us to create/invent ever growing technologies through which to better our lives. Unfortunately, some of these technologies are also implemented for the purpose to assault one another and to defend ourselves, which in turn damages the Earth. In my opinion the rationale for going to war with another nation, state or people — whether it be over resources, religious ideology, cultural differences, or power — is completely absurd. If everyone took the time to look at the larger picture, the traumas inflicted during war and in its aftermath have detrimental repercussions for not only us and future generations, but for the planet we inhabit and all of its living beings. Therefore, the ramifications are not advantageous to anyone or anything and we could eventually be the means to our own demise.
— Beth A. Gilbert, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
My use of photography is quite often a means of expression. Underlying tones relate to family, fear, control and ultimately death. This series is a seasonal exploration, documenting the movements of objects on this land throughout the space of a year, without revealing the cause of their presence.
I document my subject matter instinctively, as a way of preserving times past, capturing moments of banality, which more often than not are overlooked or taken for granted. I pay attention to spaces and subjects we may disregard, to avoid feelings of loss or regret. I use the still life of the image and the long exposures to represent the existence of this object or place, beyond the photograph.
— Beth Saunders, London, United Kingdom