The Cuban Missile Crisis – 50 Years Later
by Leslie Hossack
FALLOUT, an exhibition of The Diefenbunker Photographs by Leslie Hossack currently on view at The Diefenbunker: Canada’s Cold War Museum, has been extended until 31 December 2012.
The Diefenbunker was Canada’s Central Emergency Government Headquarters throughout the Cold War. During the Cuban Missile Crisis exactly 50 years ago, the federal government made plans to move there, but never did.
FALLOUT is a collection of interpretative photographs of the Diefenbunker which became operational in 1961. It was designed to shelter 535 designated officials charged with maintaining a thin thread of government in the event of nuclear attack. And the world did come very close to the brink during the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962.
Leslie Hossack’s photographs explore the singular question of simple human survival. Her images are haunted by her childhood memories of the Cold War, and by her preoccupation with issues of inclusion and exclusion, change and continuity, longing and loss.
When I first visited the Diefenbunker, I felt a visceral connection. I felt strangely at home in Canada’s Cold War Museum. I have always been attracted to locations linked to the monumental events of the 20th century: Stalinist buildings in Moscow, Nazi architecture in Berlin, sacred sites in Jerusalem. – L. H.