Fotograf Magazine

kennardphillipps

Closely Observed Wars

In 2003 when the US and its allies overthrew by force the regime of Saddam Hussein while the rest of the world watched live as Iraqis toppled statues of the fallen dictator in the streets, it seemed that the restoration of democracy and stability in Iraq would be a question of a few months at most. The war, however, dragged on for eight long years, and as the recent terrorist attacks show, violence in the strife-filled country is far from over. As early as 2002, when there started the campaign rallying for a “pre-emptive” attack on Iraq under the pretext that the country possessed weapons of mass destruction, opponents of the intervention also began to mobilize. It was then that the British duo Kennardphillipps emerged – its founders, Peter Kennard and Cat Phillipps, strove to unmask the pretensions to power that lay behind the outbreak of war, and its hidden aspects. Their photo-montages showed a country ravaged by war: civilian victims, torture, as well as weeping US and UK soldiers. Their thematically intense images had an unequivocal mission – to penetrate anti-war demonstrations, the streets and the mass media, in order to rouse public opinion.

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