A Photograph that made me think: Untitled image taken from the series Afghanistan by Simon Norfolk.

Louis Higgins

L1 Photography, University of the West of England.

When I first looked at this image, I was immediately drawn to the fantastic light in the photograph. The golden aura around the building gives it an almost romantic feel, reminiscent of renaissance paintings. After this aesthetic had worn off I was left to study the image in greater detail. The photograph is essentially of a ruined governmental building, however, as you study it closer you realise that its downfall was not from neglect but was the effect of the attrition of war. Bullet holes are clearly visible in the buildings’ walls, and there is no glass left in the windows. I love this use of juxtaposition by Norfolk. He grabs our attention by presenting the regal building in a stunning natural light, but as we start to dissect the image we are left feeling the effects of a war that has ravaged a country. I feel this is an incredible way to present a very delicate subject to his audience. I almost felt guilty for viewing the image as beautiful, because really what he is presenting to us is the drastic effect that wars have on countries.

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