“I take photos for much the same reason I underline and make notes in the margins of the books I read: not because I intend to go back and look at all but a few of those notes ever again, but because the act of recording itself is part of the experience. I read a passage and I’m moved, but that emotion is not enough, be it pleasure, horror or joy. Emotions demand a physical response. To anchor that sentiment requires a physical mark: a thinly traced line, an illegibly scrawled note, a photograph.”
One of my last commissions for Granta Magazine (the Travel issue) brings together a quiet meditate, vernacular photographic selection from the Archive of Modern Conflict. A visual diary from a US solider sent on ‘tour’ at the very end of World War II. Consequently, his photo diary takes becomes a travelog, a wide-eyed observation of europe at a time of seismic change. I invited Phil Klay, a former marine and an erudite, sensitive writer to compose a response. Maybe there are parallels with military life of today, or how one deals with conflict, how one copes with the magnitude of such responsibility?