After the destruction of the World Trade Center in New York on September 11th 2001, the world-renowned photographer Joel Meyerowitz felt compelled to visit the site. In his own words, he was ‘overcome by a deep impulse to help, to save, to soothe, but, being far away, there was nothing I could do. On his return Meyerowitz soon made his way to the scene where, upon raising his camera, he was reminded by a police officer that this was a crime scene and that no photographs were allowed.
Meyerowitz duly left the scene but within a few blocks the officer’s reminder had turned into consciousness. To Meyerowitz, ‘no photographs meant no history’ and he decided at that moment to find a way in and make an archive for the City of New York.