Roof of Fort Douamont, Verdun, France.
at 550 and 700nm
[Part 1/x, further info about the historical site below]


As a historian, I'm fascinated, appalled, worried and captivated by the humanity's potential for innovation when it comes to making others and ourselves suffer.
I've been to WWI sites several times, but wanted to catch the landscape in IR, too. Because this technique kind of shifts a subject into a surreal, otherwordly presence that somehow looks more authentic.

More about Fort Duoamont:

[continuation of last year's series]
Roof of Fort Douamont, Verdun, France. at 550 and 700nm
part 2/x, historical background with CW below


The remnants of shell holes on Fort Douamont's roof. The fort was being hit by hundreds of shells daily. Only the biggest ("Big Bertha") were able to pierce the walls, but the terror of ceaseless fire was aimed to traumatise and literary deafen the soldiers through the echo effect inside. It worked.
The black monolith visible in the third image is a memorial to the French North African troops slaughtered in this colonialist carnage.

world war one 

Fort Douamont was the largest battlement around Verdun during WWI, captured and held by both sides. Conditions inside were dreadful for all, with up to 3500 soldiers being in a space built for less than 900 (counting EIGHT toilets in the whole complex). Humans and weapons were stacked next to each other, resulting in a devastating fire and explosions that killed hundreds instantly when some German soldiers tried to cook with flame thrower fuel in 1916.

world war one, personal anti-war rants 

Douaumont Ossuary, Verdun, France. at 550 and 700nm.
Douaumont Ossuary. Don't get me started on the architecture. The best you can say about it is that the symbolism fits its purpose. As long a nations spend more resources commemorating their lost youth with phallic shrines than preventing them from dying in the first place I will not honour those buildings, only those who perished.

part 4/x, more historical background below

world war one, personal anti-war rants 

The ossuary +cemetery house the bodies of about about 140,000 , mostly from France + colonies, some in mass graves. That is only half of those confirmed dead. The rest was laid to rest elsewhere or never found. There are still body parts found in the woods around (~ three per year) and it is prohibited to hike off the established trails due to gas built ups, rusty barbed wire and decaying ammunition. Pls heed that warning if you visit.


"I've seen things" Excuse the dark take on in the first image. But after three days of walking the former battlefield that artillery bunker at Froideterre was a mood pic.
This last part of photographs consists of odds and ends of overgrown history. at 550 and 700nm
part 7/x

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