In the Shadow of Disaster
"And Then There Was Silence"
The Danish photographer Jan Grarup is recognized worldwide for his images of war from the many hotspots around the globe. In a new photo book, "And Then There Was Silence," he presents his most iconic photographs of the last couple of decades spent among war-weary soldiers and suffering refugees. 12 photographs from the book will now come under the hammer for the benefit of the Dignity organization – Danish Institute Against Torture.
The title of the book "And Then There Was Silence" refers to, among other things, the silence that follows in the wake of the media’s coverage of areas struck by catastrophe. With the title, the photographer points out that the disaster is omnipresent – even when we as bystanders are not watching. The images throw reality right in our faces with more power than a thousand words could.
Images of the War's Horror and Hope
Jan Grarup's photographs document the pervasive destruction in the war-torn and famine-stricken areas that he has visited – from Mogadishu to Mosul. But Grarup's camera lens also captures the absurd and life-affirming moments in the midst of all the destruction that stirs one’s curiosity and gives glimpses of hope, such as the image of a man with a swordfish on his back or a boy watching over a refugee camp from atop a dead tree.
Grarup's photographs of the reality and everyday life of war – so far removed from the life we know here at home – document the horror, so that you are in no doubt of its existence. Through Grarup's lens, you are a witness to disasters where the repercussions seem never-ending. But at the same time, it is hard not to recognize the beauty of his images. The strong compositions and enticing motifs broaden the scope of the images and move them beyond the usual journalistic photography. The black and white pictures remain on your retina for a long time. Perhaps the staying power comes from Grarup's depiction of both everyday life and great dramas in his photographs – as in the image of the well-dressed couple in love who hold hands on their way through the ruins of a city street. The combination of devotion and devastation is a strong visual device.
Event in the Royal Danish Opera Followed by an Online Auction
The online auction originates from a major charity event at the Royal Danish Opera on 6 December, where Jan Grarup for the benefit of Dignity presents a number of his most iconic photographs from the new photo book "And Then There Was Silence". Here, Grarup will tell about his many experiences in the hotspots around the world throughout his long career as a photographer of war.
The subsequent auction is also held in collaboration with Dignity and is open for bidding until the hammer falls on 16 December. The full hammer price will go to Dignity, which has just received the Danish Crown Prince and Crown Princess' Social Award 2017 for the organization’s significant work against torture.
Special Preview at Nyhavns Bodega
After the performance at the Royal Danish Opera, Dignity has arranged it so that all the works can be viewed at a special preview at one of Jan Grarup's favourite venues, Nyhavns Bodega at Lille Strandstræde 10, Copenhagen K from 7-13 December between 4 and 7 pm.