Imitation Krakatoa: for the armchair button-pusher, Orkney, 1982, Platinum-palladium print on 100% cellulose paper (Van Gelder simili japon) from original 18×24 cm negative.

This still life was made at a time when Ronald Reagan was still perceived by many of us in Europe as the person who would bring us into a nuclear confrontation with the USSR. I’ll never forget how a party with my friends in Scotland, which began as a celebration of Carter’s re-election, turned into a sombre wake as the results began to roll in on BBC. We could not understand how the most powerful nation could elect, what!, a Hollywood 2-bit actor?

Well, things changed, disaster, at least as we understood it, did not strike. Something more subtle was afoot. Then things got better, and we arrived on the doorstep of the Dream fulfilled. But now, this! Once more, we seem to be dealing with a fingernail on the chalkboard of democracy, politics and peace. And that stub is also resting on the button.

Krakatoa was big, but a bad Little Boy can do a lot of damage too.

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