Jane Alden Stevens:
Tears of Stone: World War I Remembered
While on a research trip to France, I found myself one day standing on a small town square. My eye wandered to the obelisk in the center of the square. On it were written the years 1914-18, and under each year were listed the names of the villagers who had fallen.
As I studied this monument further, I noticed a lot of names listed under 1914, even more for 1915 and ’16, but far fewer for 1917 and hardly any for 1918. “Why the falloff in numbers?” I asked myself. And then it hit me. There were no more men or boys that this village could send to war. They had already all gone.
Driven by the enormous number of casualties in the Great War, I began to examine the ways in which these men have been memorialized since the conflict ended over 90 years ago. I was curious to know if anyone still cared about those who died in a war that seems so distant now, about men whom few alive today actually knew. While working on the project, I discovered that many people still make pilgrimages from distant lands to the battlefields and cemeteries of the former Western Front, and that the memory of these soldiers lives on in a profound and moving way. These photographs act both as a reminder of the ongoing cost of historical events and as a mirror to the human heart.
A pinhole panoramic camera (Pinoramic 120) and a modern swing-lens panoramic camera (Noblex Pro 6/150 U) were used to shoot this project. Both cameras utilize medium format film.
The negatives were drum-scanned. The prints are made on William Turner digital watercolor paper with an Epson printer loaded with quad black inks using Piezography BW software.