Bill Biggart: 9/11
As the 10th anniversary of the event that marked a turning point in the course of world politics approaches, it is still impossible to consider a history of recent events without the iconic images of the twin towers collapsing. In the days, weeks, months and even years after September the 11th, our daily lives have become saturated with images of the actual catastrophe and its global repercussions. But the potency of the images taken in New York on that day has not lessened. Bill Biggart’s recordings of that day have a particularly deep resonance; he lost his life when the second tower collapsed.
Biggart had a lust for shooting news stories as a passionate photographer. He had a personal investment in the issues he covered, having grown up in a family environment which encouraged the discussion and involvement in politics. He was born in Berlin in 1947, and his family had to leave before the Berlin Wall was put up. Starting out as a commercial photographer, he later devoted himself entirely to photojournalism, travelling from Israel, Northern Ireland, New York, and back to Berlin to photograph the fall of the wall that had so greatly influenced his life.
Being a citizen of New York, Biggart was jolted from his normal morning routine when a taxi driver alerted him to the fact that a plane had just collided into the World Trade Center. Overcome with his innate desire to capture the profound, he ran home to collect his cameras and headed off to the catastrophe site. These images would be his last; having called his wife moments earlier to say he was safe, he took his last photo at 10:28:24. 10 years on, Biggart’s images serve as a reminder of the significant personal loss behind the iconic images engrained in our collective consciousness.