Simon Norfolk
[Photographer, b. 1963, Lagos, Nigeria, lives in Brighton, England.]

 [My] pictures are about memory and forgetfulness. The evidence is dissolving. Bones crumble; human ash returns to soil; teeth, sandals, hair, bullets, axes disperse into atoms and molecules. Footprints in the snow will be erased by the next storm. The evidence of evil, like the evidence of good, obeys the universal laws of entropy. Heat cools, matter disintegrates, memories fade. If we let them. 

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. 

Adrienne Rich
[Feminist and writer, b. 1929, Baltimore, Maryland, d. 2012, Santa Cruz, California.]

 Whatever is unnamed, undepicted in images, whatever is omitted from biography, censored in collections of letters, whatever is misnamed as something else, made difficult to come by, whatever is buried in the memory by the collapse of meaning under an inadequate or lying language, this will become not merely unspoken, but unspeakable. 

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

 History breaks down into images, not into stories. 

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. 

Italo Calvino
[Writer, b. 1923, Santiago de la Vegas, Cuba, d. 1985, Siena, Italy.]

 Perhaps true, total photography, he thought, is a pile of fragments of private images, against the creased background of massacres and coronations. 

David Burnett
[Photojournalist, b. 1946, Salt Lake City, Utah, lives in Arlington, Virginia.]

 I see myself as a recorder of history, sort of a visual historian. 

Walker Evans
[Photographer, b. 1903, St. Louis, Missouri, d. 1975, New Haven, Connecticut.]

 Evans was, and is, interested in what any present time will look like as the past. (An unpublished note characterizing his own work) 
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