Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Anonymous Lives

In a recent post (here) I mentioned the tragic consequences for the US troops involved in Exercise Tiger off Slapton Sands. In the process of finding a little more about it, I came across a whole batch of photographs, including one that, for some reason, struck me more than the others.
It shows some American troops presumably getting ready for their part in the exercise. I don't know where it was taken, when it was taken or, for that matter, who captured this moment in time. The very anonymity of the image provides the viewer with a sort of freedom to explore - there is no one face you are connected to and there are no known consequences to cloud your investigation.
Whilst trying to enhance the original, I was taken by how cropping can change the context, creating a more focused image. Whilst the first image can be taken to be about wartime logistics, the second is about wartime troops.
And the third, with more cropping still, is about people. People caught in a moment of time. People caught in a moment of war. I wonder what happened to them. I'll never know: they are anonymous.

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