Chris Killip
[Photographer, b. 1946, Douglas, Isle of Man, United Kingdom, lives in Boston.]

 The moment you make a photograph you consign whatever you photograph to the past as that specific moment no longer exists, it is history. The photography that I practice takes place in a specific time and place, depicting real moments in people’s lives. In some ways I think of myself as a historian, but not of the word. History is most often written from a distance, and rarely from the viewpoint of those who endured it. 

Walter Benjamin
[Philosopher, critic, and theorist, b. 1892, Berlin, d. 1940, Port Bou, France.]

 History breaks down into images, not into stories. 

Susan Sontag
[Writer, theorist, and critic, b. 1933, New York, d. 2004, New York.]

 If photographs are our connection to the past, it’s a very peculiar, fragile, sentimental connection. You take a photograph before you destroy something. The photograph is its posthumous existence. 

Walter Benjamin
[Philosopher, critic, and theorist, b. 1892, Berlin, d. 1940, Port Bou, France.]

 The true picture of the past flits by. The past can be seized only as an image that flashes up at the instant when it can be recognized and is never seen again. 

Eleanor Antin
[Artist, b. 1935, New York, lives in San Diego, California.]

 I adore [photography’s] uneasy mix of fact and fiction—its dubious claim to truth—its status as history. 

bell hooks
[Educator and writer, b. 1952, Hopkinsville, Kentucky, lives in New York.]

 For black folks, the camera provided a means to document a reality that could, if necessary, be packed, stored, moved from place to place... [Photography] offered a way to contain memories, to overcome loss, to keep history. 

Brassaï (Gyula Halász)
[Photographer, b. 1889, Brassó, Transylvania, Hungary (now Romania), d. 1984, Eze, Alpes-Maritimes, France.]

 Photography in our time leaves us with a grave responsibility. While we are playing in our studios with broken flowerpots, oranges, nude studies and still lifes, one day we know that we will be brought to account: life is passing before our eyes without our ever having seen a thing. 

Umberto Eco
[Writer, semiotician, and philosopher, b. 1932, Alessandria, Piedmont, Italy, d. 2016, Milan.]

 The vicissitudes of our century have been summed up in a few exemplary photographs that have proved epoch-making: the unruly crowd pouring into the square during the “ten days that shook the world;” Robert Capa’s dying miliciano; the marines planting the flag on Iwo Jima; the Vietnamese prisoner being executed with a shot in the temple; Che Guevara’s tortured body on a plank in a barracks. Each of these images has become a myth and has condensed numerous speeches. It has surpassed the individual circumstance that produced it; it no longer speaks of that single character or of those characters, but expresses concepts. 
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