Cosmo Condinais used to having the people he photographs dress up – he doesn’t generally join in himself. But for photograping the images for the new book “Niagara at War, 1812”, the talented local photographer agreed to don historic gear so he could fit in with the historic re-enactors who took him on a time travel journey to Isaac Brock’s day.
It was an experience he’ll never forget and it allowed him to create a visually stunning set of images that tell the story of the war that kept what is now Canada from becoming a part of the United States.
Says Condina, “I was particularly struck by the role played by the First Nations people – a role that history has somewhat forgotten. Without them, the British couldn’t have won the war and yet the First Nations didn’t benefit as they should have.”
The age of the young re-creationists also had an impact on Condina, who recalled watching one uniformed boy being sent into the fray by an officer. Minutes later, the boy lay dead, shot by an American soldier.
“And that was the reality of war…it was fought by boys.”
Condina’s images are filled with the brilliant reds of the British battlefield uniforms juxtaposed against the bright greens of the Niagara landscape and do a powerful job of telling the story of the men and women who resisted the American invasion.
The 132 page book “Niagara at War, 1812” which chronicles the lives of those whose lives were lived in the forts and camps of Niagara and whose deaths occurred on its battlefields was launched recently and has proved to be an enormous success. For more information, and to obtain copies, visit www.mrbooks.ca