re: a crisis of pictorial representation

David Hanson, Rocky Mountain Arsenal, Adams County, Colorado, 1986, from the series Waste Land, 1985–86. [© David T. Hanson]

Over at Places Journal, Assistant Professor Lars Nowak published an essay examining the documentation of military landscapes by four American photographers: Richard Misrach, Jan Faul, Peter Goin, and David Hanson.


Military environmentalism and militarized landscapes

In Defending Nation, Defending Nature? Militarized Landscapes and Military Environmentalism in Britain, France, and the United States  the authors develop a nascent history of landscapes used to prepare for war and national defense.

They write that:

In this essay, we expand our coverage from model pits at SENTA to the larger field of militarized landscapes…we aim to bring more sustained focus to militarized landscapes and open them up, within a three-nation comparative context, as sites of enduring importance to historians.

Throughout they examine the space between Jeffrey Davis’s notion of double erasure, and Rachel Woodward’s interpretation of khaki conservation. There is a clear path from the post, Post-Cold War notion of khaki conservation and military base as Sanctuary to contemporary military efforts to go green.

In conclusion they suggest “The shift at Epynt from Conservation Centre to Visitor Centre, with its overt focus on “Warriors and Wilderness,” may be the harbinger of a new development in military environmentalism: a move beyond khaki conservation…Among the three nations that form our study, the United Kingdom is firmly in the vanguard of military environmentalism…Our research on Britain suggests, in particular, that the personal interests and background of the base commander can be crucial.