The Edge of Civilization
Eddy van Wessel – ‘The Edge of Civilization’ takes the reader along, both in front of and behind the camera. It gives an open-hearted glimpse in the world of a conflict photographer.
What is it that possesses him to leave his family and the safety of their surroundings to work in often very dangerous circumstances? Travelling many times to areas of major conflicts including Chechnya, Bosnia, Gaza, Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria?
Photographer Eddy van Wessel openly answers in ‘The Edge of Civilization’ the tough questions about the risks, the fears, but also talks about the camaraderie that can come about with the fighters in a conflict, the confidence he has in his helpers and the pro’s and con’s of being embedded with the military or simply having to find his way on his own.
The photography in the book takes the reader along on a visual and emotional journey past the edges of our civilization. Images that show the world how it is on the fringes of our society, there where the civilized way of life, which we hold so dear, no longer exists.
Van Wessel works with small and inconspicuous cameras. He fuses with the local populations under the direst of circumstances, approaching his subjects up to a distance of two meters. His use of specific imagery, still black-and-white films and a raw way of printing gives his images their own specific character.
The interviews in this book give more insight into the person behind the photographer, who often is forced to live for weeks on end with little to no contact with his followers while he is enthralled in the chronicling of a story. These stories are the culmination of the numerous return trips to the same locations, continually being in touch with the people, who have nowhere to go, who have for years lived and breathed under the continual threat of enemy fire and despite all of this still manage to hope for a better day that is yet to come.
The multi-faceted imagery from the photos and their backgrounds makes this book something very special indeed; a page turner that will be opened often and having you coming back for yet another look.