Hello and welcome to my photography blog. I’m a documentary photographer and writer from Manchester in the UK. You can email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org or watch a short film or three here on vimeo and you can read my own publications here at Issuu.
Che Guevara’s posthumous reputation enjoyed two advantages. He died young and Alberto Korda took his photograph. Next year will be the 50th anniversary of Che’s death and it seems scarcely possible that his iconic status could become any greater.
It has been called the 20th Century’s Mona Lisa. Alberto Korda’s photo of Dr Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara, the Argentinian born co-leader of the Cuban Revolution, is probably the most reproduced photograph of all time. It is more than the de facto likeness of the man – It is, to use that overused word, ‘iconic’ but not just in the sense of being “a person or thing regarded as a symbol of a belief, nation, community, or cultural movement” (Collins Dictionary) but in the religious sense of the word – a representation of a Saint. Indeed in parts of Latin America some venerate him as Saint Ernesto. In communist Cuba, school children begin the day with the exhortation to “Be Like Che”. In the consumerist West, he, or rather Korda’s image of him, is understood as a symbol of dissent. It has many of the attributes of successful branding – it is instantly recognisable, it represents something, but something malleable enough that people can mould to fit their own beliefs. And crucially for its reproduction and wide dissemination, the ability to exert copyright control over it was compromised.
I’ve got an article in the current issue of The Modernist – the 20th Century design and architecture magazine – about the Cenotaph. Issue 19 is on the theme of ‘Faith‘ – and as usual features erudition and concrete in equal measure all for £5. I was asked to write something after i sold one of the Modernists a bike and gave them a copy of my booklet about war memorials, ‘Best We Forget’ (which you can download here as a pdf for free) – with the instruction to write with less polemics and ore architecture. A big thank you to Maya Balcioglu and Stuart Brisley for letting me use a photograph from their Cenotaph Project.
If you are particularly skinflint or just plain skint, you can read my article here…
I’m exhibiting two pieces in ‘Loitering With Intent: The Art and Politics of Walking in Manchester and Beyond’ at Manchester’s People’s History Museum, and have written an article about public toilets for an issue of their STEPZ ‘zine called ‘Between the Rolleram
a and the Junk Yard’ that has been produced by psychogeorapher and cultural theorists Dr Tina Richardson and artist Ally Standing.
The ‘zine will be available at the exhibition and includes articles and poetry inspired and informed by the works of John Cooper Clarke. And there came the problem. Mr Clarke, the “Punk Poet Laureate/Bard of Salford” occasionally sprinkles his verse with expletives, which clashed with the Museum’s family friendly policy, so his line from Beasley Street, “People turn to poison / As quick as lager turns to piss”, which was going to be the title of the my article, but we had to lose the “piss” and gain the “urine”.
If you prefer not to squint as you squat, the text of the article is here (original unedited version featuring “piss”… Read the rest of this entry »
My ex-collection of cctv themed t-shirts came out of the closet and got an airing in Washington DC this week at the IAPP Global Privacy Summit. More here…
I’ve written a 48-page booklet called ‘Best We Forget’ which takes:
“A sardonic look at how war memorials and making the military heroes is used to stop people questioning the foreign policy of their governments. Dunnico shows the absurdity and cynicism of the military mind, from Flanders Fields to the opium poppy fields of Afghanistan. He writes: ‘Millions of people were killed in the First World War. Afterwards, the people who started the war came up with ways to remember the dead that made everyone else forget who had sent them to their deaths. The Cenotaph, the Two Minutes Silence, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, poppies, war memorials, the language we use and the rituals we follow, are all supposed to help us remember people’s sacrifice. But they also help the leaders who sacrificed their own people get away with it. The “war to end all wars” ended a century ago and yet the British have been fighting and remembering to forget, ever since’.”
You can buy it on Blurb here
or download a free pdf of the whole book by clicking here. (opens in new window)
A few of the lucky usual suspects will be getting a free copy in the post – if you do, please share the link to the pdf or this post on social media.
I was on holiday in Brussels this week, when there was the terrorist bombings of the airport and metro system. Like most people I learned of them from a TV news flash. the only real ‘news’ footage came from the mobile phones of people caught up in the events. When the journalists arrived they congregated in one of the main squares and filmed and were filmed by the crowd of none-journalists.