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Digital Technology 2 - Wk 3 Exercise: Richard Mosse Interview

Richard Mosse is a photographer filmmaker who focuses on war-torn regions.  He captures images of the landscapes and people who live within these regions.  Our task was to watch his interview and answer the following questions.  Here is a link to the Richard Mosse interview on youtube.  


  • History of war photography
  • Fine art, documentary, photojournalism genres
  • Photos of Eastern Congo, people and tribes in conflict
  • Historical framework (war of Eastern Congo)

What genre does Richard Mosse's The Enclave fit into?
Documentary, War and contemporary fine Art
What is the history that relates to this project?
Enclave = Eastern Congo on the boarder of Rwanda and Uganda.  In the mid 90's the Rwanda genocide happened, the tribes who commited the genocide fled west into Congo.  This whole group has destablized East Congo.
Is there anything in his own history that influences this work?
Since his early 20s he had been visiting spots like the Enclave.  Referring to this as his art practise.  He was bought up in a peaceful village called Bennetts Bridge in Ireland.  Indirectly he was affected by the conflict which was happening in North Ireland during the 80's.  He also references his family's connection with being Quackers as having an influence on his work.
Why did he choose to use the Kodak infared film for the project?
The Kodak Aerochrome is an infrared suveillance film used for military purposes.  It renders greens into pinks and reds.  This was used to uncover camoflauged installations from the air.  All healthy plants or greenery would reflect back as pinks and reds while non organic matter would absorb the colour and be revealed.  In the same way Richard wanted to make visible this "very overlooked conflict".
How does the use of this film fit into the documentary genre?
Richard spoke about the conflicts in Eastern Congo, being a "cancerous cycle of vicious little wars, which is really hard to understand".  His use of the film, works to emphases an experience of the conflicts which he had, giving viewers a taste of what these conflicts have on its people and environment.  
How many times has he been to the Eastern Congo for this project?  Why do you think he has been back so many times?
Richard Mosse has been back eight times over four years.  Richard speaks about this lack of trace, with all the horror and violence happening in Eastern Congo.  I feel that the reason that he is drawn back is to give a voice for the people who can't share their stories.
What justification does he have for creating such beautiful images to represent such horrific events?  
It's a way to connect with the view.  Beautiful images are attractive in doing so he is able to also challenge them to think deeper about his work and the realities of what happens in war torn countries.
Why would he be criticized for this?  How does this differ from other war photographers you have see
He would be criticized for not producing images which reflect the obvious devastation of war ie. dead bodies or mutilated figures.  Richard shared an experience of choosing not to film a group of people who had been slaughtered with machetes and spears, he said that it was too much.  His photography which would be different from others is by using the 16 millimeter motion picture film which is associated by advertising,music videos or MTV.

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