WORLD WAR 1 BATTLE REENACTMENT SOLDIERS
July 1, 1916. It was the first day of the Battle of the Somme, one of the more bloody battles during WW1. It’s nearly a hundred years ago, which means few people are alive now that experienced the news of that day – but some points in history take on such significance that they echo throughout time, across generations.
In this series of portraits, London-based photographer Dave Imms (1985, UK) represents men who choose to re-enact battles from the pages of history. Dresses in period-appropriate clothes and battle regalia, they ‘play war’ without the consequences of actual war. Aside from a few ex-military and police force attendees, the re-enactment soldiers were mostly under-30s. Imms observes of the men: ”They weren’t just performers but genuine throwbacks to days gone by.”
Shooting his images in the style of soldiers portraiture in the early 1900s – black and white with subtle camera shake and minimal focal latitude – Imms captures the essence of time, both flattened and repeating, referential yet impossible to reproduce.