Ghosts In The Landscape: Vietnam Revisited

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9781884167539: Ghosts In The Landscape: Vietnam Revisited
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After serving in Vietnam as a U.S. Marine, photographer Craig Barber returns twenty-eight years later to a country that he first saw through the eyes of combat. Haunted by the deaths he witnessed, Barber carries his memories of being eighteen with a taunting bull's-eye painted on his helmet, the smell of smoldering bombs, and the cries of the dying back to Vietnam in order to put his ghosts to rest. In the Vietnamese countryside, he captures the healing landscapes with bomb craters turned into fish-rearing ponds and watering reservoirs, metal sections from former airstrip runways transformed into window grates, and shell casings functioning as fence posts. An essay by Alison Devine Nordstrom, Curator of Photographs at the George Eastman House, Rochester, offers insight into photography's role in unlayering the past.

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Synopsis:

This work includes images of a healing landscape and a scarred nation from a former US marine. After serving in Vietnam as a US Marine, photographer Craig Barber returns 28 years later to a country that he first saw through the eyes of combat. Haunted by the deaths he witnessed, Barber carries his memories of being 18 with a taunting bulls-eye painted on his helmet, the smell of smouldering bombs, and the cries of the dying back to Vietnam in order to put his ghosts to rest. In the Vietnamese countryside, he captures the healing landscapes with bomb craters turned into fish-rearing ponds and watering reservoirs, metal sections from former airstrip runways transformed into window grates, and shell casings functioning as fence posts with a handmade cardboard pinhole camera and ethereally printed by platinum processing. In a country where half its population is under 20 and has no memory of war, Barber's photographs give hope that healing and change is on the horizon.

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