18 November 2013

Missing Photographs

 Steven Edwards starts his Photography: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford UP, 2006) by asking readers to entertain an interesting possibility - a world thoroughly devoid of photographs or photography. According to this report by Olivier Laurent at The British Journal of Photography, the French newspaper Libération published its entire 14 November issue without a single photograph. The editors reportedly withheld images as a statement about the precarious situation of photographers and photojournalism. Yet, even though this 'statement' is intentional and derives its force from the contrast to a world awash in images - the photographs we expect are missing, not nonexistent - it underscores the audacity of Edwards' counter-factual.

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