The Forgotten Heroes

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Remembrance Sunday brought my attention to a new book, singer-turned photographer Bryan Adams has released. This interested me in particular after last week’s seminar on portraits as I think this is a very powerful way to convey the stories of those soldiers who are not killed in war, but instead have their lives completely altered, however are they are the ones we often forget. As Bryan Adam notes, we spend the day remembering the lives that were sacrificed in war, and rightly so, however we tend to forget those who are severely injured. It’s for this reason that I found these photos striking, with the above one affecting me the most. Here we see Lieutenant Will Dixon posing with a smile, which shows how in spite of his injuries life does go on and it can be led in a positive way, unlike some of the previous war photos where all you experience is the dead and the completely negative side of war.

Bryan Adams also says ‘I believe photographs convey what words alone cannot’, which is similar to what Harriet has said below where language cannot always convey extra meaning.[1] This is something I also strongly agree with because sometimes, as with this subject matter of wounded soldiers, you do need the photo as some sort of proof of the reality of what these veterans have had to endure in their post-war life.

Furthermore, as we saw a couple of weeks ago with the Victorian mums and baby photos, there is always this need for a portrait to appear perfect and natural, which those photos obviously didn’t. However Bryan Adams has captured these soldiers perfectly and they all have a natural feel to them even though they were indeed a staged photoshoot.

 

 


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