James Nachtwey: An Anthem to Mercy and Beauty in the Inferno of War

Weaving an infinite dance between light and dark, for 40 years, James Nachtwey gives a face to war. Its aspects are of pain, injustice and violence, this portrait that the photographer has chosen to reveal to the public using beauty and form to cling to the suffering and solitude of the world. A beauty that becomes an instrument of struggle, a gesture of mercy confronting the inferno of Mostar, where, in a bedroom, a sniper fires from a window, or a survivor of a Hutu concentration camp in Rwanda, their face full of stitches. Two-hundred images divided into 17 sections offer the visitor an ample selection of the most important photo journalism of an Epic witness that, from El Salvador to Gaza, from Indonesia to Japan, passing through Romania, Somalia, Sudan, Rwanda, Iraq, Afghanistan, Nepal and the United States, demonstrates the crude face of war, to ultimately offer an anthem to PEACE. Because, as the artist himself affirms, in a state where “men and women have lost everything, their homes, their families, their arms and legs, their wits, each survivor possesses an unassailable dignity that is common to every human being.” The photos of Nachtwey are the personal, heart-rending testimony to this fact.
Samantha De Martin - © 2017 ARTE.it for Bulgari Hotel Milano