Lee Steer


Front Cover Inside Page Text Close-up Fold-out Page

Uncomfortable Images

This publication was created with the task of presenting uncomfortable images, I created a small form-factor book with an understated design to reflect the hidden truth of human psychology–the natural desire to see images of human suffering despite disgust with the events depicted, as discussed in Susan Sontag’s book Regarding the Pain of Others. The book features fold-out pages that uncover large scale photographs taken moments before someone's death, protected by a matter-of-fact description of the photo in precise detail. This means the reader has to actively decide to see the photos after they have been explicitly told exactly what the image contains in order to force the reader to confront their desire to view this type of imagery, even after it is made clear what kind of deprived images they will see.

The photos gradually get closer to the subject in reference to Sontag’s point about the comfort people feel when they are further away from the people suffering. This causes the first photos in which the people can barely be seen to give the reader a sense of security that is betrayed as they get through the booklet and begin to confront the victims in more detail, making the reader more unsettled, but furthering the main point when they feel even more urge to look through the pages.