It almost goes without saying that during the so-called War on Terror, certain things went on that in retrospect should make us pretty uncomfortable. Control Orders arguably fit into this bracket, legal restrictions for suspected terrorist sympathisers who could be held in their homes without charge or trial.
A new book from photographer Edmund Clark takes on this controversial issue head-on, by focussing on a suspect – named only as CE – who has been placed under Control Order. Edmund immersed himself in this man’s life, despite warnings that anything he documented would be admissible to the state’s case against this individual.
The resulting book is a remarkable reflection of a manifestation of national paranoia, but crucially it doesn’t feel overly political – rather it uses a nicely simplistic approach to flag up the paroxysms of panic that gripped us in the inglorious decade of the 2000s. Through redacted documents relating to CE’s case and an approach to the photography which makes even the most prosaic details suddenly feel intimidating and oppressive in this context, Control Order House is a sterling achievement, an oddly unsettling impersonal documentation of one man’s struggle with the system.
Control Order House by Edmund Clark is published by Here Press and available from “the webiste”: www.herepress.org