Simon Norfolk

11th September 2019

Lensculture’s feature on ‘forensic traces of war.’

Forensic Traces of War, is a series of photographs by photographer Simon Norfolk. The link above will take you to the interview on Lensculture’s website.

INTERVIEW Forensic Traces of War Acclaimed photographer Simon Norfolk is exploring the idea of “battlefields” and how that term has expanded in meaning in recent wars. Here we feature images from several bodies of work, plus an engaging audio interview with Norfolk.

Jim Casper, Lensculture

The photographs tell a story of how war impacts people and environment. Although this work is within a theme, Norfolk has captured a varied visual recording of ‘war’ within Afghanistan. These photographs show destruction and chaos, and give an eerie feeling of a post-apocalyptic landscape. Many of the photographs take in a view rather than zooming in on specific details so we, the onlooker get a feeling of space. My favourite photograph however, gives us a close up view of abandoned mortar shells. They lay on the floor in a round, reminding me of an archaeological find.

Abandoned mortar shells in a date grove in Atifya, northern Baghdad.

For me though, the images are like most ‘war’ images, the only difference being is that they are specific to a different date, time and place. Personally for me, you see one war photo, you have seen loads like it before….

However, one thing sets Norfolk’s war photographs apart from everyone else. Not only does he capture the usual refugee and destroyed landscape and building photographs but he takes images of supercomputers and looks for not always the ‘whole,’ but the designs, patterns and colours. He makes something abstract and beautiful from an object that is deigned to destroy and murder.

Part of the supercomputer that designs France’s supercomputers.

All photographs taken from (c) Simon Norfolk, website

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