Sally Mann
[Photographer, b. 1951, Lexington, Virginia, lives in Lexington.]

 Photography would seem to preserve our past and make it invulnerable to the distortions of repeated memorial superimpositions, but I think that is a fallacy: photographs supplant and corrupt the past, all the while creating their own memories. 

Susan Sontag
[Writer, theorist, and critic, b. 1933, New York, d. 2004, New York.]

 If photographs are our connection to the past, it’s a very peculiar, fragile, sentimental connection. You take a photograph before you destroy something. The photograph is its posthumous existence. 

Umberto Eco
[Writer, semiotician, and philosopher, b. 1932, Alessandria, Piedmont, Italy, d. 2016, Milan.]

 The vicissitudes of our century have been summed up in a few exemplary photographs that have proved epoch-making: the unruly crowd pouring into the square during the “ten days that shook the world;” Robert Capa’s dying miliciano; the marines planting the flag on Iwo Jima; the Vietnamese prisoner being executed with a shot in the temple; Che Guevara’s tortured body on a plank in a barracks. Each of these images has become a myth and has condensed numerous speeches. It has surpassed the individual circumstance that produced it; it no longer speaks of that single character or of those characters, but expresses concepts. 

David Levi Strauss
[Writer and critic, b. 1953, Junction City, Kansas, lives in New York.]

 One terrible truth about photographs is that they can only ever show us what happened, never what is happening or will happen. They are always about something that is gone, and so are in league with death. 

Milan Kundera
[Writer, b. 1929, Brno, Bohemia (now Czechoslovakia), lives in Paris.]

 The only reason people want to be masters of the future is to change the past. They are fighting for access to the laboratories where photographs are retouched and biographies and histories rewritten. 

Susan Sontag
[Writer, theorist, and critic, b. 1933, New York, d. 2004, New York.]

 The Western memory museum is now mostly a visual one. 

David Wojnarowicz
[Artist and activist, b. 1954, Redbank, New Jersey, d. 1990, New York.]

 History is made and preserved by and for particular classes of people. A camera in some hands can preserve an alternate history. 

Josef Koudelka
[Photographer, b. 1938, Biskovice, Moravia, Czechoslovakia, lives in Paris.]

 The changes taking place in this part of Europe are enormous and very rapid. One world is disappearing. I am trying to photograph what’s left. I have always been drawn to what is ending, what will soon no longer exist. 
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