Edited by Matilde Casaglia -(matilde.casaglia@positive-magazine.com)
Photographer: Don Mc Cullin

Don Mc Cullin was born in Northern London in 1935. He is now 75 years old. The Imperial War Museum in London is now hosting the exhibition Shaped by War, which represents the largest collection of his work ever seen on public display.
After serving as an aerial photographer for the RAF during his national service, from 1964 to 1984 he covered battlefields in Cyprus, the Congo, Biafra, Vietnam, Cambodia, Bangladesh, El Salvador, and the Middle East, becoming one of history’s great war photographers.

“I want you to look at my photographs. I don’t want you to reject and say: ‘No, I can’t do that. I can’t look at those pictures. They are atrocity pictures.’ Of course, they are. But I want to become the voices of the people in those pictures.”

The exhibition has a particular focus on his Sunday Times’ period, and it is divided in five main sections: early years, discovering photojournalism, the Sunday Times magazine, changing times and a new direction (which features its landscapes as a reaction to a life spent in war fields).
His photographs are accompanied by a newly commissioned film interview which lasts half an hour, and besides there are magazine spreads and personal belongings.
During the interview Mc Cullin tells some of the most shocking stories of his life, like the story of this camera:
This camera saved Don McCullin’s life. At Prey Veng, east of Phnom Penh, the Vietnamese forces he was accompanying were ambushed twice within a few days. The first time, McCullin was saved by injury by his Nikon F camera which stopped a bullet before it crashed his brain.

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