The Word for World is Forest, 2018
The Word for World is Forest is a photography book project inspired by Ursula K. Le Guin novel which was published under the same title in 1972. The aim of the project is to address the forest as a space in which atrocities took place by bringing science-fiction and history into conversation. This dialectical dialogue is pursued through photography: archive and digital images.​​​​​​​
Unlike Ursula K. Le Guin, I want to examine the role of the forest in the real world. My primary research is intentionally limited to historical events, with strong reference to acts of violence which took place in various European forests in the twentieth century. Although the history of Europe is full of examples of wars and conflicts, the case of the Second World War is seen as an apogee of atrocities in the history of humanity. The correlation between violence and forest is the main criterion of selection for archive images.
Subsequently, I selected four archive images related to the Second World War and two archive images corresponding to two military powers : the German Empire and the Soviet Union. Whether these pictures depict a scene of the signing of the Armistice or a body of the Polish officer murdered by the NKVD (The People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs) in the USSR, they all share an overriding similarity: the forest is like the “backdrop” to the atrocity and the witness of the history.

© Ryohei Jingu