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Requiem

Requiem [PDF]

Between the height of the French Indochina War in the fifties and the fall of Phnom Penh and Saigon in 1975, 135 photographers from all sides of the conflict are recorded as missing or having been killed. This book is a memorial to those men and women, and in many cases it includes the last photographs they took.

Horst Faas and Tim Page, two photographers who worked and were wounded in Vietnam, have gathered many thousands of pictures by those who were killed. Their search has taken them through the archives in Hanoi as well as those of Western agencies. In some cases families have generously provided access to private files where unknown bodies of work have lain unseen for more than forty years.

The list of the dead includes some of the greatest photographers of the century, such as Robert Capa and Larry Burrows, and some who had been working in Vietnam for only a matter of days before their deaths. A number of the Cambodian photographers working for the Western press were executed. Other photographers, like Sean Flynn and Dana Stone, disappeared. Their loss inspired Tim Page to begin this memorial.

The resulting sequence of photographs follows the course of the war and the transformation of the serene landscapes of Cambodia and Vietnam into scenes of nightmarish devastation. At the moments of intense battle one is reminded not only of the courage of the photographers but of the compassion amid the brutality of war. These photographers were intimate with war to a degree that may well be denied future generations. That intimacy led to their deaths. Their photographs are their legacy.

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