Reading The Pictures is dedicated to the analysis of news photos and media images.
September 9, 2011

Reconstructing 9/11 with Nina Berman — The Still-Shattering Beehive

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In recognition of the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, this is the second in a series of post presenting diptychs by photographer and BagNews contributor Nina Berman. Created in 2001, most of the panels juxtapose a photo taken in New York’s financial district near the Trade Center site within days of the attacks with a photo taken in New Jersey in October amidst the steel remains of the two skyscrapers.

The photo on the left was taken the morning the Stock Exchange re-opened about an hour or so before the opening bell. Typically an anonymous beehive of activity, the atmosphere among traders, understandably, was concerned and intimate. Although the Stock Exchange didn’t lose anyone in the attack, at this point no one knew that.

Of course, the strong implication here is that an otherwise-impersonal and mechanistic free market — as a “bulls-eye” of corporate power, economic inequality, self-absorption and agnosticism — was the main catalyst for the destruction that day, not only in the loss of the symbolic Trade Towers, but in the trillions of dollars in losses (still cascading) to secure the bee’s way-of-life.

Previous post: Windows on the World

PHOTOGRAPHS by Nina Berman

About the Photographer

Nina Berman

Nina Berman is a documentary photographer with a primary interest in the American political and social landscape. She is the author of two monographs, "Purple Hearts – Back from Iraq" and "Homeland," both examining war and militarism. Her work has been recognized with awards in art and journalism from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the World Press Photo Foundation, the Open Society Institute Documentary Fund and Hasselblad, among others. She has participated in more than 90 solo and group exhibitions, including the Whitney Museum 2010 Biennial, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Portland Art Museum, and Dublin Contemporary. Her work has been featured on CBS, CNN, PBS, ABC, BBC and reviewed in the New York Times, Aperture, Art in America, TIME, and the New Yorker. She is a member of NOOR photo collective and is an Associate Professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She lives in New York City. See more of Nina's work for Reading The Pictures here.

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