A long-awaited, multivolume "documentary fiction" of photographs and documents portraying the Northern Ireland conflict
A New York Times Book Review 2021 holiday gift guide pick
In 1972, at the age of 26, Gilles Peress (born 1946) photographed the British Army's massacre of Irish civilians on Bloody Sunday. In the 1980s he returned to the North of Ireland, intent on testing the limits of visual language and perception to understand the intractable conflict. Whatever You Say, Say Nothing
, a work of "documentary fiction," organizes a decade of photographs across 22 fictional "days" to articulate the helical structure of history during a conflict that seemed like it would never end--days of violence, of marching, of riots, of unemployment, of mourning.
Accompanying each copy is Annals of the North
, a text-and-image almanac to Whatever You Say, Say Nothing
, also published separately by Steidl this season; the books are housed together in a tote bag.
Held back for 30 years and now eagerly anticipated, Whatever You Say, Say Nothing
takes the language of documentary photography to its extremes.