Photographs of Agony – John Berger

The possible contradictions of the war photograph now become apparent. It is generally assumed that its purpose is to awaken concern. The most extreme examples – as in McCullin’s work – show moments of agony in order to extort maximum concern. Such moments, whether photographed or not, are discontinuous with all other moments. They exist by themselves. But the reader who has been arrested by the photograph may tend to feel this discontinuity as his own personal moral inadequacy…

The US Marine Counteroffensive, Day Nine. Don McCullin

Read the rest of Berger’s “Photographs of Agony” here, along with a few other chapters from About Looking¬†which you should buy if you don’t already own.

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