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Richard Mosse Rethinks War Photography with 16mm Infared Film

Artist and photographer Richard Mosse presents “The Enclave.” The film was shot on 16mm infrared film, which was originally conceived in collaboration the U.S. military for camouflage detection during the ’40s, and was discontinued by Kodak in 2009. It was with this concept of rendering the invisible visible in mind that Mosse chose to use the film to document the largely unseen and under-reported conflict that has been raging on in the Congo. In addition to covering rebel groups, he also documents the human impact in the form of the refugee camps established to shelter those fleeing the conflict. Certainly presenting a new perspective of conflict and war photography in general, Mosse didn’t just slap a novel film type into the camera and shoot the same scenes of that the world has unfortunately become all too accustomed to. By pairing the admittedly aesthetically intriguing medium with scenes documenting the pain felt by the region, Mosse hoped to trigger internal conflict with the viewer and with it, both awareness and dialogue.

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