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. 

Walt Whitman
[Writer and poet, b. 1819, South Huntington, Long Island, New York, d. 1892, Camden, New Jersey.]

 [Mathew Brady and I] had many a talk together: the point was, how much better it would often be, rather than having a lot of contradictory records by witnesses or historians—say of Caesar, Socrates, Epictetus, others—if we could have three or four or half a dozen portraits—very accurate—of the men: that would be history—the best history—a history from which there could be no appeal. (1889) 

Milan Kundera
[Writer, b. 1929, Brno, Bohemia (now Czechoslovakia), lives in Paris.]

 The only reason people want to be masters of the future is to change the past. They are fighting for access to the laboratories where photographs are retouched and biographies and histories rewritten. 

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. 

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. 

Vilém Flusser
[Writer and philosopher, b. 1920, Prague, Czechoslovakia, d. 1991, Prague.]

 [Photographic images] absorb the whole of history and form a collective memory going endlessly round in circles. 

Margaret Bourke-White
[Photographer, b. 1904, New York, d. 1971, Darien, Connecticut.]

 The sights I have just seen [at Buchenwald] are so unbelievable that I don’t think I’ll believe them myself until I’ve seen the photographs... 

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. 
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