Portfolio: VII Agency
Sunday 13 May 2012
When the VII photography collective was established in 2001, little could its members have known quite how timely was their alliance. For just three days later, two airplanes were flown into New York's World Trade Center – and an agency that had dedicated itself to documenting the impact of modern conflict was instantly in the thick of one of the greatest crises experienced by the West for many a year.
Members' work, however, is by no means limited to the Western world – and they have extended notions of conflict to subtler forms, encompassing humanitarian crises and catastrophic events. These range from the appalling conditions in Rio de Janeiro's Polinter prison, where 1,500 detainees were held in a space designed for 250, to the 45,000 people who were dying each month in the Democratic Republic of Congo as a result of the conflict between warlords and armed rebels for control of the country's natural resources. Many of the miners who Marcus Bleasdale captured extracting gold by hand were thought to be combatants – but had the safety net of neither a living wage nor medical care should injury occur, while their masters benefited from the booty.
To mark a decade in action, the agency has now collated more than 450 unflinching images from its photographers' archives from the past 20 years, in a volume that not only provides a compelling record of the age, from the end of the Cold War to the fall-out of Hurricane Katrina, but also questions our complicity, our disengaged acquiescence, in the world's most troubling dramas.
'Questions without Answers: The World in Pictures by the Photographers of VII' is published by Phaidon, priced £45
The best TV shows and films coming to the servicetv
Watch the new House of Cards series three trailerTV
Oscars 2015It was the first time Barney has compered the Academy Awards
Oscars 2015 From Meryl Streep whooping Patricia Arquette's equality speech to Chris Pine in tears
Oscars 2015 Mexican filmmaker uses speech to urge 'respect' for immigrants
TV ReviewThe intrigue deepens as we delve further but don't expect any answers just yet
Razzies 2015 Golden Raspberry Awards 'honours' Cameron Diaz and Kirk Cameron
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Raif Badawi, the Saudi Arabian blogger sentenced to 1,000 lashes, may now face death penalty
- 2 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 3 Robert Mugabe eats a zoo for 'obscene' 91st birthday party
- 4 The remarkable archaeological underwater discovery that could open up a new chapter in the study of European and British prehistory
- 5 The jihadi girls who went to Syria weren't just radicalised by Isis — they were groomed
Broadchurch series 3: David Tennant and Olivia Colman to return for third season, ITV confirms
Downton Abbey Christmas special 2014, review: Love is everywhere, actually
Indian Summers recommissioned: Channel 4 confirm a second series of British Empire drama
James Bond: Director Sam Mendes teases clips from upcoming 007 film Spectre
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Russia's roadmap for annexing eastern Ukraine 'leaked from Vladimir Putin's office'
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'