All posts filed under: Photobooks

Debi Cornwall investigates the performance of US state control

British Journal of Photography first met the US photographer, Debi Cornwall, back in 2017, when we featured her photobook, Welcome to Camp America. Cornwall explained that while visiting Guantanamo Bay, the setting of the narrative, she was escorted by military personnel at all times, guiding and monitoring her every move. This resulted in hours spent with her guides, whose experiences she inevitably came to know over casual conversation, as they toured her around the prison’s facilities. “I became interested in the human experience of preparing for war and its aftermath,” she explains. “More structurally, in Guantanamo Bay, the truth is stage-managed for public consumption, and I decided I wanted to look at the performance of American power directly.” Using this insight as a springboard, Cornwall’s research led her to look into the sites of military training grounds – 10 in total, visited over the course of three years. More specifically, these were entire mock villages where, “immersive military war games are staged, populated by this cast of characters, ripped from the headlines, if you will,” …

2020-08-27T19:22:34+01:00

45 by Damian Heinisch

On 08 May 1945, Germany surrendered to the Allies — the day which marked the end of the Second World War, the most tragic and bloody conflict in history, with some 75 million recorded deaths. Families were separated, borders shifted and an estimated 60 million refugees were displaced, forced to migrate to countries often thousands of miles away from their homes. Still now it is rare to meet a European who has not been affected by that shift. Damian Heinisch was born in Poland, grew up in Germany, and now lives in Oslo. His new book, 45, is inspired by journeys made over three generations of his family. It begins with his grandfather, who in 1945 was piled into a cattle wagon and deported from Gliwice in southern Poland to a labour camp in Debaltsevo, Ukraine, where he eventually died. Then, in 1978, his father took his family (Heinisch was ten at the time) and boarded a train out of Gliwice to start a new life in West Germany. Reflecting on his family history, in …

2020-07-02T09:34:41+01:00

Mihai Șovăială’s portrait of a disused airstrip in Romania

This article was originally published in issue #7893 of British Journal of Photography. Visit the BJP Shop to purchase the magazine here. In 2014, an airstrip was constructed a few miles to the west of Braşov, in central Romania, as the inaugural stage of an international airport. Yet half a decade later, the airport remains unbuilt. The Leipzig-based Romanian photographer Mihai Șovăială — a native of Braşov — initially followed the airport’s travails from afar. After construction halted, the semi- abandoned runway became thronged with activity. “There were agricultural machines using the land strip to cross the fields, and speed lovers came for car racing,” recounts Șovăială. “Children from the nearby town, Ghimbav, came to play. For me, it was a very utopian vision. This is how my project started.” The aptly titled Holding Pattern is named after an aerial manoeuvre whereby pilots circle around an airport until they can land. Between 2016 and 2019, Șovăială repeatedly returned to Braşov to circumnavigate the site, capturing the surrounding ground, and the structures and objects that litter it. Initiated by …

2020-05-21T16:24:16+01:00

BJP Staff