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Features / December 11, 2012

Emanuel Licha Aims at the Fog of War in Incisive Films & Photographs

Inundated as we are by mass media reporting on war, conflict, destruction and upheaval, it’s all too easy to lose track of the complex layers of meaning and manipulation that determine our understanding of these tragic events.

But for Montreal-born, Paris- and Berlin-based filmmaker and artist  Emanuel Licha, it’s exactly in this blurred middle ground between fact and fiction, illusion and reality that the truths behind conflict come to light.

From disaster tourism in the former Yugoslavia and Chernobyl to police- and military-training camps in France and California to “war hotels” in Beirut, Cairo and Tripoli, Licha has spent more than a decade exploring the residual constructs and complications of global strife.

In Licha’s words, wars are “like climaxes—peaks in one’s life or in world history, a shifting point. But thinking about war means thinking about much more than war—it is a filter to the idea of reality that goes beyond war.”

This selection of images and videos by Licha reviews his ongoing study of the parallel realities and interwoven complexities that make up the fog of war. To view the still images, click on the Photos icon above; videos are embedded below.


Emanuel Licha War Tourist in the Suburbs of Paris (excerpt) 2004–8


Emanuel Licha War Tourist in Sarajevo (excerpt) 2004–8


Emanuel Licha War Tourist in New Orleans (excerpt) 2004–8


Emanuel Licha War Tourist in Chernobyl (excerpt) 2004–8

Emanuel Licha War Tourist in Auschwitz (excerpt) 2004–8

Emanuel Licha Mirages (excerpt) 2010

Emanuel Licha How do we know what we know? (excerpt) 2011