Thursday, March 13, 2003

Rachel Lucas (one of my blogging heroes) writes:

My hobby is photography, and ever since I learned to use a darkroom, I've been unable to look at old black and white photos with any detachment, because it finally sank in to me that a real person, just like me, held a camera in front of his face and released the shutter, capturing an image that was actually happening at that moment. Then he pulled out the film, stuck it in chemicals, and produced the photo I'm looking at. I don't know if that makes sense to anyone, but it's the best way I can explain it. I think a lot of people gaze at old photographs and don't think about the reality of them, that there were smells and sounds and movement all around that moment.

I can identify with how developing her own photo’s has changed her view of historical images. Since I began to print my own photos I now understand what it takes to make them. The fact that someone in the past took the time to not just stand behind the camera and snap the picture but also develop the film and print the image adds some weight – this picture comes to us through time as a result of real effort.

Now that I take most of my pictures in Black and White it is easier for me to see how our world is in many ways very much like the world we see in old pictures. How easy it is for me to take a picture of a friend that gives the impression that she is living in the world of the home front in WWII. It is vitally important that we ensure that the more horrific images of that era are not replicated. In particular those that Rachel is looking at in her studies of the Holocaust.

Unfortunately I think that there are those who refuse to look at the pictures, or claim that they could never happen again. I fear that following our liberation of Iraq we will find a new collection of these images that show man’s inhumanity.

Will the French again claim that they knew nothing? That giving the death machine of Saddam Hussein these extra weeks to kill it’s enemies was not intentional? I personally believe that the UN dance of today is just a modern day version of the round up of Parisian Jews to the Velodrome d'Hiver. It gives me no comfort that France and Germany support Saddam Hussein - they have a very bad track record.

I just read this article in the NY Post by Palph Peters. He makes me wish I could write. He made my point so much better than I did:

Those Euro-trash tourists were right to mourn what had been done. But why on earth didn't they care about the present sufferings of their fellow human beings?

The sorry truth is that Europeans love to cry over corpses, but won't lift a finger to prevent the killing in the first place. They shake their heads over the Holocaust, though their parents were happy enough to pack the local Jews off to Auschwitz.

Read it all as they say.


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