Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Blair at War

BBC's News at Ten tonight ran a fascinating piece on an exhibition currently running at the National Portrait Gallery entitled Blair at War: Photographs by Nick Danziger. (A quick Google search revealed this is the same Nick Danziger behind Danziger's Travels!)

In March 2003, as Tony Blair took the final steps towards leading the nation to war with Iraq, award-winning photojournalist Nick Danziger and Times Literary Supplement editor Peter Stothard were given thirty days of unprecedented access to the Prime Minister and his closest aides.

On display to the public for the first time, Danziger's portraits tell the candid story of a decisive time in Britain's political history. Revealing the inner circle of the political players in Downing Street, at Camp David and in the power corridors of Europe, these portraits provide a poignant insight into Blair's hopes and fears as he took on a sceptical electorate, the Labour Party, Jacques Chirac and ultimately Saddam Hussein.
The collection comprises some exceptional black and white photographs of which a couple particularly stand out: 1) A shot capturing Blair reclining in an office chair mid-telephone conversation with Alastair Campbell's ghostly presence revealed via a reflection in a mirror and 2) a wonderfully captured portrait of Blair in eclipse with a shadow eliminating half his face seemigly staring into a mirror, only to reveal that the supposed reflection is George Bush in person!

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