Up against the wall, tied to a post, kneeling at a ditch, hundreds of WWI allied soldiers were killed for desertion. Photographer Chloe Dewe Mathews visited 23 sites of execution and made photos at the same time of day and the same time of year.
Shot At Dawn is halting and haunting.
I just wrote about the series for Vantage: WW1 Allied Soldiers Remembered In Photos Made At Sites Of Execution:
Particularly on this day, Armistice Day, Memorial Day, it is worth meditating on Shot At Dawn. The history of photography is indelibly tied to that of war. Too often we’ve seen graphic images from which we turn away and too often photography has been used as a tool by murderous regimes. Yet, we must seek out photographic projects that bring context, calm assessment, forgiveness of ourselves and empathy for our enemies. It’s take great skill to make relevant and poetic images about death that resonate; it takes greater skill to illuminate the suppressed personal histories of the past’s forgotten victims. Shot At Dawn is an artwork for the ages.
The book Shot at Dawn is published by Ivorypress.
Read the full piece: WW1 Allied Soldiers Remembered In Photos Made At Sites Of Execution.