World renowned photographer Richard Mosse released his photo series  Infra, inspired by a recent trip to Eastern Congo. A few months ago Mosse was interviewed by the blog Conscientious Extended explaining his motivation and inspiration behind the project. Mosse used Kodak’s Aerochrome infrared film that is usually used for aerial photography of vegetation, forestry and hydrology monitoring.

On his motivation to shoot in the Congo…

Congo is regarded as one of the first places in which photography became a powerful humanitarian force. Around the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, there was a watershed of concern surrounding the Belgian monarch, King Leopold II’s personal abuse of power in the region. This was simultaneous with the rise of photography within mass media. Two English missionaries, Alice Seeley and John Harris, left for the Congo Free State in 1896 and photographed the brutal human rights violations that they witnessed there. This and other portrayals of the region’s horrors eventually brought an end to Leopold’s claim to Congo. But the misery continued…

While I was in the Congo in early 2010 Kodak announced the discontinuation of the stock. Defence technologists now work in digital hyperspectral technologies. The false-colour Aerochrome was a thing of the past. I was dealing with an abandoned technology which I wanted to use reflexively, to work this military technology against itself in the hopes of revealing something about how photography represents a place like Congo, a place so deeply buried beneath and stifled by its representations.

No comments yet. Be the first one to leave a thought.
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.