"Could this be my own face, I wondered. My heart pounded at the idea, and the face in the mirror grew more and more unfamiliar.” Masuji Ibuse, Black Rain
The latest book by photographer Rosalind Fox Solomon begins by meditating upon the differences and regularities that shape the lives of people around the world. In a Brazilian favela, a man daydreams while holding a reproduced painting of French royalty. In New York, a mother beams at her daughter who wears a Statue of Liberty Crown. In a school in rural Guatemala, young children pretend to make music with paper instruments.
As the sequence progresses, a darker story emerges from these images: one shaped by the violent events of recent global history, events which some may find it easier to forget. Through her powerful black-and-white photographs, Fox Solomon offers a reflection on the evils of war and its far-reaching ramifications. The bodies of her subjects bear all-too physical traces of conflict and aggressive foreign policy: two Cambodian teenagers who have lost their legs to landmines while gathering wood near their homes; victims of Agent Orange, a weapon of chemical warfare that continues to affect children born long after the end of the Vietnam war; a survivor of Hiroshima who reminds us of the abundant accumulation of nuclear bombs throughout the world today.
Collected here, Solomon’s compassionate images pay tribute while bearing unflinching witness to those people around the world whose bodies have become sites of conflict and stand as permanent memorials to the merciless pursuit of power.