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Memory of Fire


Julian Stallabrass’ Memory of Fire available to purchase now in our Shop.

Memory of Fire is an unparalleled visual, theoretical and historical resource about the photography of war, and how images are used as instruments of war.

With essays and interviews by prominent theorists, artists and photographers the book covers the urgent issues of the depiction of war, the use of images of war by the media, various forms of censorship, the military as a PR and image-producing machine, the circulation of unofficial images and the impact of the digital mediascape.

High-level critical texts about the image war and the reproduction of some of the most compelling images of war, offer readers a unique experience. Memory of Fire draws on content gathered for the critically acclaimed 2008 Brighton Photo Biennial, curated by the book’s editor Julian Stallabrass, supplemented with commissioned texts and interviews.

Covering a range of twentieth-century war photography from the Russian Revolution to current wars, particularly in Iraq and Afghanistan, many types of images are illustrated and analysed, from large-scale museum photography and artist installations, through photojournalism and official army propaganda, through to amateur images made by soldiers.

Edited by Julian Stallabrass

Essays by Coco Fusco, Stefaan Decostere, Sarah James, Rita Leistner and Julian Stallabrass

Interviews with Broomberg and Chanarin, Ashley Gilbertson, Philip Jones Griffiths, Geert van Kesteren and Trevor Paglen.

Illustrations including work by Ghaith Abdul-Ahad, Kael Alford, Ashley Gilbertson, Thomas Hirschhorn, Frank Hurley, Benjamin Lowy, Simon Norfolk, and Paul Seawright

WARNING: This book contains images of a graphic nature

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Reviews

“This is an intense book, full of deeply felt experiences and dense with facts.”
The Art Newspaper

“…empowers the reader to conjecture, providing a place to stand in the unending vortex of war and its representation.”
1000 Words Photography Magazine

“As we witness one more threatened invasion, Memory of Fire is a timely reminder.”
Photomonitor

“…worthwhile to anyone interested in the contemporary challenges of war photojournalism.”
Aperture

“…a well-considered, often stirring take on not just war photography, but the evolving, and arguably fraught, state of photojournalism in the twenty-first century.”
Photo-eye

“…many types of images are illustrated and analysed, from large-scale museum photography and artist installations, through photojournalism and official army propaganda, through to amateur images made by soldiers.”
the war and media network

“…from Broomberg and Chanarin’s highly abstracted, conceptual work to descriptions of guards ‘gyrating half-clothed atop seated prisoners’…incredibly affecting.”
Bookforum

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