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“We are bombarded with images of war and destruction on the news almost every day, and the expenditures on armaments are setting new records every year,” writes a photographer. Nikita Teryoshin. His new book is entitled, Nothing Personal—The Back Office of War, goes behind the curtains of the global defense business, a dizzying oversized playground for adults with wine, finger food, and shiny weapons, very much the opposite of the battlefield.
“Dead body mannequins are used here, or pixels on screens in a vast number of simulators,” he says. “Bazookas or machine guns are plugged in flatscreens. War action is staged before a tribune filled with high-ranking guests including ministers. heads of state, traders, and generals.
I deliberately do not show you the faces. I don’t want to blame a specific person for everything. The anonymous traders, with weapons coming out their heads, could be interpreted in reference to John Heartfield’s anti-war drawing of the 1930s prior to the WWII ‘Dangerous Dining Companions. I like this idea of symbolism.
Nowadays, companies use slogans like ’70 years defending peace’ or ‘Engineering a better tomorrow.’It’s hard to believe that people in the arms industry would believe such things. Richard Gatling is the inventor who said the following: ‘It occurred to me that if I could invent a machine—a gun—that could, by its rapidity of fire, enable one man to do as much battle duty as 100, that it would, to a large extent, supersede the necessity of large armies and consequently, exposure to battle and disease be greatly diminished.’His motivation was to save lives, not to speed up the killing process. He wanted to reduce the number of soldiers on the battlefield. Gatling’s vision was not one that saw less bloodshed but rather unimaginably greater. The Gatling gun was the first of a new kind of machine: the automatic weapon.
Nothing Personal—The Back Office of WarThis publication is published by pupublishing.
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