Richard Mosse’s Infrared Photography: From the Series Photojournalism at the Crossroads
Photojournalism at the Crossroads is a series from Lightbox that takes a closer look at how photographers are creatively revisiting traditional ways of image making or using the latest digital technology to revitalize the genre and reach a wider audience.
When working on his project in eastern Congo, photographer Richard Mosse chose to shoot with infrared film. “Kodak Aerochrome,” Mosse explains, “is a recently discontinued military surveillance technology, developed during the Cold War with the primary objective of perceiving camouflaged enemy installations hidden in the landscape. The use of analog infrared film in eastern Congo evokes the specificity of that medium, its genesis as a military technology and its potential to reveal the invisible.”
“The subject of my work in eastern Congo is the conflict’s intangibility and our blindness to it. The project seeks to challenge the ways in which Congo is typically represented. The project’s goal is to provoke a dialogue surrounding the generic conventions of documentary photography in Congo, and more generally in Africa. The aim is to surprise the viewer to look again at a forgotten but very tragic conflict.”
“The fighters shown in these photographs are CNDP [National Congress for the Defence of the People] rebels on the day of being sworn into the Congolese national army, the FARDC [Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo], in the mountain village of Masisi, North Kivu. This movement — a kind of legitimization of war criminals — is supported by the international community in a kind of policy of “better the devil you know.”
For more from the series Photojournalism at the Crossroads
Post updated April 10, 2011
On Friday the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation awarded it’s annual fellowships to 180 of 3,000 applicants. Eight of them this year where given to artists working with photography including Richard Mosse who we featured in the series Photojournalism at the Crossroads, on TIME.com at the end of last year.
The staff of Lightbox would like to congratulate all the winners and look foward to seeing their projects.