Thursday, October 17, 2019

An Appraisal of Martin Parr's 'Think of England' Publication Essay

An Appraisal of Martin Parr's 'Think of England' Publication - Essay Example Residents and workers in the areas surrounding the Chernobyl Power Plant were exposed to radiation levels one hundred times higher than the Hiroshima Bomb. At the publication date of Legacy, and still today in 2009, Chernobyls menacing results are still very evident. Darwells photographs ultimately offer a thoughtful and skilled presentation of a series of polarities: the visible effects of the invisible radiation; the simultaneous presence and absence of humanity; the past and the future of the Chernobyl area. It will be thousands of years before the decaying isotopes will allow safe habitation. The inside cover of Legacy is made up of dark grey letters on light grey paper with an alphabetic SPREAD of words, such as Atom Bomb, Beryllium, Black Rain, Cancer, and Chernobyl (depicted in white). The list ends with the words The Nuclear Age, also in white. Darwell’s choice of colors, or better yet, lack of color, allows the important words to jump off the page as the reader opens the book. Turning the page, the end paper reads; LEGACY - photographs inside the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, and offer a kind of warning or foreshadowing of what is to come in the following pages. This definitely sets a tone for the book, and creates a mood before the pictorial tour begins. Elegantly stretching it’s metal spires upwards to the sky, the Chernobyl Power Plant towers appear graceful and architectural, like latticed works of sculpture. Set against a violet sky, its black silhouette resembles the framework of an erecting cathedral. During the race to harness nuclear energy, these towers were considered to be visions of progress and hope for the future. Darwell’s photographic distance from the subject succeeds in juxtaposing its skeletal beauty against its cataclysmic destructive force. How ironic that a structure that caused so much death and

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