Cluster Bombs and the Portraits of Impact
It almost seems wrong to call Alison Locks’ photographs ‘beautiful’, but that they are. Poised, elegant, and respectful, they allow light itself to take on character, somehow giving the subjects room to be present in the images. What is not beautiful however is the subject matter itself. ‘What Remains’ is an exhibition detailing the impact of cluster bombs on the lives of people in counties affected. Working alongside filmmaker Chris Anderson, Locke travelled to nine countries to document and allow the camera to bear witness to the impact of cluster bombs, as part of Landmine Action, a UK based NGO’s campaign to ban the use of cluster bombs.
Speaking in Dublin at a conference on Human Rights imagery yesterday, Locke spoke about allowing injured individuals, through photography and film to ‘act as witness to their experience’, giving them ‘time and space’ to reflect on and communicate their suffering.
What results is a deeply moving portrayal of individuals, whose injuries have uprooted their lives.
Yesterday, also came the historic announcement from Dublin, that an international ban on cluster bombs has been agreed. The ban includes the use, production, stockpiling and transport of cluster munitions. However, some of the leading users of the munitions, US, Israel, Russia and China have not signed the deal. Campaigners say that the ban will however, send out a clear message the bombs are unacceptable.
‘What Remains’ will be on display in the Gallery of Photography in Dublin’s Temple Bar until May 31.
More on the campaign to ban cluster bombs can be found on: