Aperture Exclusive: Don McCullin and Fred Ritchin
Don McCullin is the acknowledged dean of war photographers, although it is a designation he does not easily accept. Working since the 1960s in Biafra, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Cyprus, Lebanon, Northern Ireland, Vietnam, and elsewhere, he has created a body of images that reveal in intimate detail many of the agonizing ways in which atrocity can be visited. Today in his early seventies, McCullin is not content with his decades’ worth of photographs: in particular he decries their insufficient role in diminishing the very violence they depict—as evidenced by the title of one of his books on the Vietnam War, Is Anyone Taking Any Notice?, published in 1973. Although haunted by revulsion and guilt, he remains fascinated by photography and is driven to continue working. Recently married and with a young son, McCullin has lately been photographing landscapes in his native England as well as depicting the remains of the Roman Empire for a large-scale documentary project.
Fred Ritchin spoke with the photographer last September in New York City; here we present behind-the-scenes documentary clips of their conversation. A condensed version of this interview appeared in the Summer 2009 issue of Aperture.
Camera and editing by Dennis Nazarov
Sound by Hannah Weddel
Click more to view the entire interview.