Conflict and war cannot help but leave scars, not only on people’s bodies or their memories but on the landscapes of the places conflict happens. Memorials, monuments, war graves and abandoned fortifications help us connect with these conflicts so that we never forget their cause and effect, and these places are so often steeped in reverence.
Looking across the vast, half submerged Vietnam veteran’s memorial in Washington DC, it’s impossible to not be awed by the endless expanse of names of those who were involved in that conflict. It’s a silent and eerie place, the subterranean location causes all sound to be swallowed up and it’s polished surface makes it blend into the landscape. Visitors are left to their own thoughts despite the presence of others around them.
I felt the same sensation at the Iwo Jima memorial in Arlington, the Batterie allemande de Longues sur Mer in Normandy or the remains of the “Phoenix” foundations of the World War II Mulberry Harbours built on the “Gold” D-Day landing beach at Caen, and tried to capture it as best I could on camera.