I would like to offer a genuine and sincere apology to anyone who was offended by my Photograph of The Nazi Flag near Whitby Abbey which was displayed on Facebook over the weekend.
A friend pointed out to me today that there may be people and families who continue to be traumatised by what happened to them and family members at the hands of the Nazi’s in the lead up to, and during World War 2.
It was never my intention to upset those people and I offer the sincerest of apologies to that group of individuals.
The removal of my photographs by Facebook and my subsequent 4 day ban has led to a lot of discussions with friends and associates. Many suggestions have been made and thoughts made clear.
For anyone interested in my thinking on the matter, and my answer to the many questions asked, I would like to make the following points.
Q 1. Did you post the photograph on its own.
A 1. No it was presented as a single image amongst a larger body of work taken at The Whitby War Weekend.
Q 2. Do you support The Nazi ideology.
A 2. Certainly Not.
Q 3. Are you a member of, or support The English defence League (EDL).
A 3. Certainly Not.
Q 4. Was it your intention to offend people.
Q 4. No, my aim is to show what is happening in and around Whitby, whilst building an archive of photographs of the town and all that happens here. My stance is objective.
Q5. Did you make a provocative comment along with the photograph in question (Such as Sig Heil)
Q6. Do you support War Weekends.
A6. Ive never given it much thought. I don’t make a habit of attending them if that’s what you mean. I certainly wouldn’t become a fan and start going to all events across the country. My Only interest is because it’s local. As a photographer building a local archive, I try to capture everything, “warts n all”
Q7. Do you think Germans should be banned from War Weekends.
A7. Again it’s not something I spend a lot of time thinking about. I believe that if you are to have a war weekend at all then surely it should be a true representation of the event. Isn’t it Nazi Ideology to start censoring things.
Q8. Should war weekends be banned
A9. It’s not something I think about. If I had a list of things I would like to see changed in The World I would think banning reenactment wouldn’t be right at the top of my personal list. I’d like to ban war, cruelty to animals, Persecution of Wildlife, Extreme Capitalism, Child Poverty, religious extremism.
Q9. What should people do who want war weekends banned ?
A9. Make a protest. Im a big believer in peaceful protest. If something means so much to you, I see no point in moaning on social media. Get up off your arse and do something.
Q10. Did anyone contact you directly to object to your photograph of The Nazi Flag ?
Q11. No, The only direct contact was from a lady of Jewish origin who explained her family had suffered at the hands of the Nazi’s but she was not offended by The Photograph.
Q11, What have you learnt from peoples response and your subsequent Facebook Ban.
A11. I have learnt that some people may be legitimately offended by such photographs. This has made me feel sad as it certainly is not my intention to offend anyone with legitimate reasons for being upset. Therefore Pictures from future war weekends or any similar events will not be posted on Facebook. I will now post them only on my website with a clear warning above the photographs so that people can choose to look or close the page.