Contemporary Photography Confronting the Past

  1. Nathalie Herschdorfer
  • ISBN 9780500543986
  • 24.90 x 28.80 cm
  • Hardback
  • 192pp
  • 189 Illustrations, 158 in colour
  • First published 2011
‘A stunning, powerful book that shows that even the most subtle images can contain ideas and emotions that are almost earth-shattering in their significance’ – Amateur Photographer
‘A poignant and evocative collection’ – Dazed & Confused

Modern photography has always captured the key moment, the ‘now’

In a media-saturated world where photographers can capture scenes of upheaval in real time and instantly broadcast them, we are familiar with images of events such as 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina and know what kind of photographs to expect.

But what of the scenes after the event whan viewers are given an opportunity to reflect, to think and empathize? The photographs in this book are subtle yet powerful and ask questions about the disasters rather than provide answers. They become more provocative and powerful over time.

Afterwards presents work from leading contemporary photographers, with each in a self-contained sequence of images. More than 30 photographers are featured, including Robert Polidori, Suzanne Opton, Raphaël Dallaporta and Simon Norfolk, inviting the viewer to contemplate the aftermath of events in modern history – the Srebrenica massacre, human trafficking and slave labour, the Hiroshima bombing, the Holocaust and natural disasters – and get a sense of the physical and emotional scars they left behind.

Accompanied by essays on cognitive responses to photographs, the ability to see and empathize, the nature of trauma and others, Afterwards shows the ability of contemporary photography to question what happens in the world and begin to understand it better.

Nathalie Herschdorfer is a photography historian and curator. Formerly on the staff of the Musée de l’Elysée in Lausanne, she has co-authored several books with William A. Ewing, including reGeneration: 50 Photographers of Tomorrow, reGeneration2: Tomorrow’s Photographers Today and Face: The New Photographic Portrait, 
all published by Thames & Hudson.