Afterwards Contemporary Photography Confronting the Past

Nathalie Herschdorfer

Shows the possibility for contemporary photography to question events, to connect us emotionally with our fellow humans, and to provide an opportunity to understand and find answers.

In a media-saturated world, are we in fact becoming immune to the impact of photography that captures cataclysmic moments of devastation and suffering? Have we increasingly stopped looking and thinking, or is it that we react more to photographs taken after an event where there’s an opportunity to reflect, to empathize?

This powerful and thought-provoking survey features work by thirty-one contemporary photographers—Robert Polidori, Suzanne Opton, Raphae¨l Dallaporta, Taryn Simon, Guy Tillim, and more—whose concern is to examine the aftermath of violence, disaster, and suffering. The photographs invite us to consider the resonance of events that have taken place over sixty years of modern history, including the aftermath of 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, the Srebrenica massacre in Bosnia, and the fate of people in the midst of horrible events or long-term upheaval, such as refugees, political prisoners, or survivors of natural disasters.


Images in the book are neither didactic nor polemical, but do raise questions about how we perceive and process visual information.

— Black & White Magazine


Nathalie Herschdorfer


Nathalie Herschdorfer is director of Photo Elysée - Museum of Photography in Lausanne. Her previous books include Coming into Fashion, Afterwards: Contemporary Photography Confronting the Past, and Body: The Photography Book. Deborah Turbeville (1932-2013) was born in Boston, Massachusetts. Her fashion photography featured in Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Nova, and the New York Times and for fashion labels including Comme des Garcçons, Guy Laroche, and Charles Jordan. Her archive is held by MUUS Collection.