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New York 911 aftermath

Updated: May 30, 2022

I was working with my client TBWA\Chiat LA on the 2000, 2001 and 2002 Nissan NY Auto Show Videos. I travelled to New York for the show both prior to and immediately after the 911 attack.

Photo by James

9 11 2001 was a moment the world changed for me and probably not for the better.

I started an uncertain solitary life in December 2021 after a divorce that finalised the 33 year chapter of married life. With more time to myself, I am able to take a breath and review my photographic library for the selection of material for stock images. This is a task that has been too daunting to consider. This library is a reflection of my life's journey up until this moment in time.

Photograph by Noel Castley-Wright 'Self Portrait NY Taxi' and accompanied by Philip Lopez, Producer TBWA\Chiat LA.

I said in my Soho Blog, 'never go back', but it is unavoidable and often necessary.

An Image captures that fraction of our existence, a defining moment, a new experience, an expression of love or just because that moment in time distracted me long enough to breathe it in and take the picture. The image retells the moment where I know words will fail me. I know that years from now, when most things are forgotten of this time, this 1/500th of a second, a fraction of my existence, will be relived in my future's present.

Life in New York goes on, at least that is the appearance on the surface. Things can seem business as...

But this colourful world hides a truth that lurks beneath.

Black & White better captured the mood and I prefer to capture NY this way. I make no apology for the dutch angles that, for me, work in this environment.

In 2002, I was asked if I could remove the Twin Towers from a famous movie trailer by a known director. I responded, 'Yes I Can! but your question should be will I?' to which my response was a definitive 'No!'

Erasing History is not something I approve of. Ignoring it or pretending the towers did not exist is wrong. As I look at the NY Skyline today, I cannot help but feel it is an admission of defeat and a symbol of American weakness.

The Twin Towers should have been rebuilt to their majestic stature so as to maintain the iconic NY Skyline. A message symbolising strength, resilience and defiance!

I know my view may not be a populist one and I apologise if some may find it offensive, which is not my intent. I think there is more hurt for victims, and a greater satisfaction to those aligned to the attack, when looking at the changed skyline. America submitted to the enemy and it honours no-one to pretend the towers did not exist.

Was it a fear of repetition, fear of political correctness or just a pure fear installed by its government to oppress its people and to justify a war in Iraq?

What follows is a raw rushed documentation of a war zone and this was the real tone of New York January 2002.

©2022 Noel Castley-Wright

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