Recently, I came across a collection of photographs in The Atlantic magazine on the first world war, one hundred years ago. They are structured into nine different topics, with 45 pictures in each.
It’s a disconcerting viewing, especially when I emphatically try to put myself into the situation of the people depicted and imagine their perceptions and feelings, and the horrors and hardships they have endured.
One would think that one hundred years of further enlightenment in all things human, societies, and politics, would have brought us further away from the dark times of wars due to despotism, tyranny, tribalism, and religion. And they have – to a degree.
But think, just as current examples rather close to Europe, of Aleppo, where a tyrant, with the support of a powerful, dictatorial ally, throws bombs and poisonous gas on civilians, including hospitals, or Mosul, which needs to liberated from the horrendous reign of religious fundamentalists, and you realise that humanity has a long way to go.