Freedom of Death opens with a series of negatives, to which one does not immediately understand what happened: were they taken with particular techniques? Are they burnt? Were they manipulated during development?
The book consists of three sections, each with a different intervention by the photojournalist on the original images taken in South Africa during the apartheid period.
According to the common definition, the photojournalist is the one who tells news through images, keeping as much as possible to the objective reality of the facts he describes. Gideon Mendel has, in Freedom of Death, the courage to deviate from this description, allowing his images to have a difference in content.
The manual interventions of the photographer, who with this work has become an author, ensure that events that happened almost forty years ago, rooting in the contemporary world, are still able to speak to us. The re-elaboration of these images from the past, forgotten for years in a moldy drawer, allows them to be looked at from new positions. The operation that Mendel does in this book, with his sensitivity in reworking archive material, offers the possibility of new perspectives and interpretation, not only on the past, but especially on our present.