Jul 15, 2016 @ 21:11 CET


Dear Ivan,

The children miraculously survived the devastation of Stalingrad, and indeed the only image I ever remember seeing was that of Evzerikhin, along with one other image of a man saving what I think I remember was a contrabas from a devastated building. Poignant. If not that, then what are we fighting for.

Just a few days ago I passed through Nice on my way to where I am now. I just heard about the terrible tragedy there yesterday, and it’s weighing on me. I find it difficult to write.

We keep trying desperately to put complex things into flawed reductive contexts. It feels like this time only distant retrospect will be able to explain and properly contextualise, and that we have no choice but to undergo, failing to understand why.

When the next history books are printed. When our era is added alongside all the others. Thinking forward that no matter what, we will be reduced to a simple chapter in history. A speck of dust in the scale of the universe. Our chapter could be terrorism alongside the human genome, internet, AI, climate change, migration, waste, and the depletion of fossil fuels. And Higgs Boson. I might miss quite a few here, I admit… I fail to even properly delimit in time.

How would history name our era? And what if we’d fictionally try to write this single future-past chapter, using the templates of how we describe our past? And of course, not without the obligatory quantities of Carrara marble sprinkled in here and there.

A Clockwork Orange had a serious impact on me when I first saw it at my university screening exactly 20 years after its initial release. Ultra-violence. I found it a disturbing and important film.

Clouds roll over the hilltops in the distance, south of Parma,  where I’m heading. Lighting strikes and heavy raindrops start falling. I hear no thunder. We both seem to be traveling a lot. My journeys pale in comparison to what I imagine the weight of the journey of your father’s family must have been.

 /// #image_by_image is an ongoing conversation between photographers Ivan Sigal and Anton Kusters. @ivansigal @antonkusters on Instagram ///