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Phil Douglis | all galleries >> Gallery Thirty Nine: Juxtaposition – compare and contrast for meaning > American war cemetery, Carthage, Tunisia, 2008
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American war cemetery, Carthage, Tunisia, 2008
05-NOV-2008

American war cemetery, Carthage, Tunisia, 2008

Nearly 3,000 American soldiers, sailors and coast guardsmen who died fighting German General Rommel’s Afrika Corps in World War II are buried in this cemetery, located near the site of the ancient Carthaginian city destroyed by the Romans in 146 BC. The cemetery links two wars, fought two thousand years apart. The servicemen who are buried here are linked in death as well, and I use telephoto lens compression to draw a long row of them together, juxtaposing cross upon cross, incongruously broken only by a Star of David at the midpoint of the image.

Leica V-Lux 1
1/1300s f/11.0 at 88.8mm iso100 full exif

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Phil Douglis30-Apr-2010 23:06
The presence of those partial names also suggest partial lives. All of these soldiers were cut down in the prime of their lives. Thanks, Kathy, for noting the importance of the detail here.
Kathy Khuner30-Apr-2010 13:53
To continue...I also noticed that the only other name visible was on the tombstone of the Jewish soldier. The names link the two soldiers together among the mass of graves.
Kathy Khuner30-Apr-2010 13:49
At first glance I saw the uniform (except for the Star of David) and stiff white columns but as my eye ran down the row, I suddenly caught sight of the first cross with part of the name of the soldier buried here and the year of his death, which was very startling, and brought home that each of these 3,000 graves holds an individual each with his own history.
Phil Douglis05-Jan-2009 18:56
Good word for this image, Mo -- austere means strict or severe. Nothing is more severe than death itself, particularly a violent or painful death that comes in battle.
monique jansen05-Jan-2009 13:38
Very austere in its symmetry
Phil Douglis01-Dec-2008 00:06
Well said, Tim. It can also speak of the fact that in the commonality of death here, all soldiers merge into one, all of them warriors who died for a common cause, in this case to defeat Nazi Germany.
Tim May30-Nov-2008 22:11
This image speaks loudly of the diversity of those lost to war.
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