Juxtapoz Magazine, Nothing Personal – The Back Office of War

February 12, 2024

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“We are bombarded with images of war and destruction on the news almost every day, and the spending on armaments continues to rise.” writes photographer Nikita Téryoshin. His new book is entitled, Nothing Personal—The Back Office of War, goes behind the curtains of the global defense business, a dizzying oversized playground for adults with wine, finger food, and shiny weapons, very much the opposite of the battlefield.

“Dead body mannequins are used here, or pixels on screens in a vast number of simulators,” he says. “Bazookas or machine guns are plugged in flatscreens. War action is staged before a tribune filled with high-ranking guests including ministers. heads of state, traders, and generals. 

I purposely don’t show the faces of businessmen. It’s not my intention to blame one person for everything. The anonymous traders, with weapons protruding from their heads, could be a reference to John Heartfield’s anti-war drawing of the 1930s prior to the WWII ‘Dangerous Dining Companions. I like this idea of symbolism.

Nowadays, companies use slogans like ’70 years defending peace’ or ‘Engineering a better tomorrow.’It is difficult to believe that some people within the weapons industry actually believe these things. Richard Gatling, the inventor of the machine-gun, said something that is remarkable: ‘It occurred to me that if I could invent a machine—a gun—that could, by its rapidity of fire, enable one man to do as much battle duty as 100, that it would, to a large extent, supersede the necessity of large armies and consequently, exposure to battle and disease be greatly diminished.’His motivation was to save lives, not to speed up the killing process. He wanted to reduce the number of soldiers on the battlefield. Gatling’s future was not one with less bloodshed. It was unimaginably more. The Gatling Gun laid the foundations for an entirely new type of machine, the automatic weapon.

Nothing Personal—The Back Office of WarPublished by pupublishing.

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