‘The Pictures of War You Aren’t Supposed to See’


General Culture, General Photography

Chris Hedges wrote an article about two photography books (Peter van Agtmael’s “2nd Tour Hope I don’t Die” and Lori Grinker’s “Afterwar: Veterans From a World in Conflict”) entitled The Pictures of War You Aren’t Supposed to See. In response, Jim Johnson wrote a very smart post (where I found Chris’ original article), noting that “Hedges neglects at least two crucial matters. The first is whether war photographs might have the effect he supposes. […] the second […] is whether even if photographs had the requisite effects it would or could matter to the underlying reality of war and collective violence.” Two important posts, which touch upon many aspects of what war photography might be able to do, what its limitations might be, and what those limitations might arise from.