Calum Douglas | Only the Dead Have Seen the End of the War

Calum Douglas tells us about his series ‘Only the Dead Have Seen the End of the War’ which is part of FutureProof 2015


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This project initially began as a visual exploration of conflict in The Middle East. I was born in 1990, just prior to the first Gulf War. I am now 25 years old and I have never really known the region to be stable and without conflict. Rarely out of the news, the region, though geographically remote, has been ever present in my life.

Instead of presenting a series of traditional war images, this series shows a body of simplified and re-appropriated images that convey key events throughout the Middle Eastern conflict. The re-appropriated imagery has been obtained from a variety of sources, including news footage, YouTube videos and news-paper clippings. They serve to underpin and contextualise the accompanying constructed and economic imagery, which was primarily made within a deliberately detached studio environment using minimal props. These simplified images, it could be argued, possess a sculptural quality, echoing war memorials or religious iconography. The colour orange, in this context, is synonymous with prison uniforms from Guantanamo Bay, but could also be associated with the subsequent appropriation of the same prison uniforms adopted by more recent terrorist groups.

The images are not intended to detail all or even the most significant events. They are interpretations and are intended to act as prompts to promote discussion while being presented in a way that invites the viewer to decode and question what they see.


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Calum Douglas is a conceptual photographer born and based in Scotland. Last year Douglas graduated from the Glasgow School of Art with a degree in Communication Design.

See more: Calum Douglas website

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