Photographs by Jim Naughten. Text by Bill Kouwenhoven, Mark Rappolt.
96 pp., 75 color illustrations, 9¼x11¼".
Every summer thousands of people from all over the world gather in a Kentish field and leave the present firmly behind. They step out of their routine daily lives and transform into historical characters from the First and Second World Wars, often embracing their roles with such vigor and obsessive attention to detail that it is hard to imagine them outside of this fictitious combat zone. Taking on a different name, identity and sometimes even a different tongue, these roleplayers re-enact battles and drills from an imagined past to a degree that becomes something more than acting, a collective fantasy played out on a massive scale. London photographer Jim Naughten's portraits of these re-enactors are shot formally, in three-quarter profile, usually from the legs up, against white back drops-an effect that heightens the sense of artifice and anachronism. Beautifully bound and printed, this volume records a world apart from both past and present.
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