Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Falling Soldier

Another iconic photograph which may have changed the world in a small way?

This is of an unknown republican militiaman being shot dead in Battle during the Spanish civil war. The picture caused a sensation at the time and drew attention to the republican cause.

The photo is brutal but I think that the fact that the militiaman was dressed in largely civilian clothing but also carrying webbing and a rifle is also unsettling. War is no longer a professional activity.

There has been some debate about the identity of the soldier and even the authenticity of the photo. However it was taken by larger than life war photographer, Robert Capa, whose motto was “If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough”. Capa later took part in the D Day landings in 1944 and eventually paid the price of his motif while in Vietnam during 1954 when he stepped on a landmine and was killed.

In January 2008 thousands of negatives in three suitcases that Capa himself, had thought lost in France, during the Second World War were returned to a family museum.

Hat tip to Col Roi.

No comments: