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Exhibition and book
Verdun, Omaha Beach, Hamburger Hill, Srebrenica, Mogadishu, Fallujah: names of places that are lodged deep in our collective memory. Places where the once serene landscape was transformed into a battlefield, where young men and women fought for their beliefs, politics or ideals, where they lost their innocence, and sometimes their lives.
The cemeteries and history books serve as reminders, but the battlefields themselves are transformed once more after the battle is over. Time erases the traces – the rubble is cleared away, the craters become overgrown, the hills reconquered by nature. Who can still see the difference from a normal beach, an ordinary hill or an average city?
But is the inner landscape of the soldier as resilient as the landscape in which he fought? How is someone who has armed himself for life on the battlefront changed? What images and experiences lodge in his mind? Is it possible for someone who does not know war to understand what it it means to live in the confusing reality of an armed conflict?
Through the work of top photographers like Ad van Denderen, Martin Specht, Paul Seawright, Peter van Agtmael and Antonin Kratochvil, Warzone pauses to examine the experience of soldiers who have been dispatched to the warzones of our recent history. The traces in the landscapes in which they lived have been covered again by time, but the world of war will – for better and worse – continue to exist in their inner landscape.
– Text courtesy of Noorderlicht Gallery.
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