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Interrogations

Winner of the World press Photo 2012 in the category Portraits, series.

After a lone trip to Chernobyl in 2005, Donald Weber soon returned to the abandoned site of the nuclear disaster and spent the next six years in Russia and Ukraine photographing the ruins of the unstoppable storm we call history.

Travelling and living with ordinary people who had endured much, and survived everything, Weber began to see the modern State as a primitive and bloody sacrificial rite of unnamed Power.

Interrogations is the result of his personal quest to uncover the hidden meaning of the bloody 20th Century. In dialogue with writer Larry Frolick – whose own ancestors had been decimated in the final months of WW II – Weber insistently and provocatively addresses his questions both to the living survivors and to the ghosts of the State’s innumerable victims, resurrecting their final hours by taking their point of view, and performing a kind of incantatory meditation over their
private encounters with Power.

The policemen, working girls, thugs, dissidents and hustlers who inhabit these pages are all orphans of a secret History; the outline of our collective fate takes shape in Weber’s epic work, expanding our awareness of what it means to be an actor in today’s dark opera.
A regular contributor to the literary quarterly, Descant, Larry travels yearly to Asia, the Middle East, and the Arctic from his family home in Niagara on the Lake, Ontario, Canada. His personal interests include collecting vintage audio equipment from the 1970s, hard bebop, cycling, and the war poetry of the Great War.

Donald Weber originally worked as an architect in Rotterdam with urban
theorist Rem Koolhaas’ Office for Metropolitan Architecture. He
freelanced for many publications in Canada and abroad before devoting his
artistic career to an epic study of how Power deploys an all-encompassing
theatre, implicating everyone in its secret collaboration with both masters
and victims.
His projects include ‘The Underclass and Its Bosses: Crime & Punishment
in Ukraine’, which won the Lange- Taylor Documentary Prize; ‘Bastard
Eden, Our Chernobyl’, which won the Photolucida Book Award; ‘The
Drunken Bride, Russia Unveiled’, which won a Guggenheim Fellowship;
‘Cities Under Siege’, which won a Canada Council Fellowship. He is
represented by the photo agency VII.

Larry Frolick is an award-winning author and social critic with a special
interest in post-modern global culture. His published works include four
non-fiction books and scores of journal essays and magazine articles based on
deep field research, on diverse subjects. Among his numerous awards
are four National Magazine Awards (Canada); the 2006 Alexander Ross
Award for Canada’s Best New Magazine Journalist; and the 2006 Lange-Taylor
Prize (USA) for a long-term collaboration with Weber on a
documentary project, ‘The Human is an Atom that Won’t Be Split’, about
the post-Soviet experience of Ukraine’s underclass.
Larry is currently completing three new books, including ‘Melt Down’, another
documentary collaboration with photographer Don Weber on life with
nuclear decay in four international societies.


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