On September 11 2011 New York commemorates the terrorist attacks of ten years ago. On that day, Dutch photographer René Clement will be handing out a free newspaper at Ground Zero, containing his look at life after the devastating attacks.
In New York you only have to look up to see a plane disappear behind a skyscraper and then emerge the other side.
"I always used to find that amusing," says 49-year-old René Clement. "A little play with perspective. Just as if the plane was flying through the building. But since 9/11 I cannot look at that image any more without a feeling of fear."
11 September 2001
This article is part of our 9/11 coverage. Other articles include:
After 9/11, silence is sometimes golden by Thomas von der Dunk
Mr Clement lost his pleasure in the perspective game on 11 September, 2001. The Dutch photographer witnessed the devastation after terrorists hijacked passenger planes and flew them into the towers of the World Trade Center. At first he could not comprehend what he saw.
"Everywhere cars were burning on the street, a war zone, a hell," is how Mr Clement describes it. "I said to a fireman: I don't get it, I've been walking around here now for twenty minutes, but I can't find the World Trade Center. And then he said: you're on it. The buildings have collapsed."
The firefighter said that Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles and Washington were also being attacked. The panic was enormous. Such a thing had never happened in America. Frustrations were vented against photographers like Mr Clement. A policeman dragged him through the streets, shouting "No pictures, you f****r!"
In the 12 months after 9/11 all the assignments that the New York-based photographer had were to do with the terrorist attacks and their aftermath. Then the interest declined. Life goes on, especially in dynamic New York. "But under the surface quite a lot of people still bear the wounds of that day," says René Clement.
Scar Tissue is the name of Mr Clement's photo series in which he makes the scars of 9/11 visible. The photographer has made a newspaper of which 10,000 copies will be distributed free on Sunday 11 September at Ground Zero. A Dutch version appeared as a supplement in the newspaper Trouw on Saturday 10 September.
The riot last year centering on the construction of a mosque around the corner from Ground Zero was an important reason for Mr Clement to begin the project. He took confrontational black and white photographs of the angry protesters. Geert Wilders, leader of the Dutch Freedom Party, became involved with the anti-Muslim uproar in New York, but the Dutch politician is not included in Mr Clement's 'Scar Tissue' project. "No, this was a local issue in which Wilders had absolutely no reason to be involved."
Mr Clement has taken photographs at the funerals of people who are still dying of lung and other diseases they suffered during the rescue and salvage work in the smoldering remains of the WTC. He is critical of the politicians, in particular about what won't be said when September 11 is commemorated. He can quite understand that many people will quickly throw away his newspaper, "because they don't want to think about such things on that day."
René Clement has no problem with that. "A newspaper is in any case an example of ephemera," he says. "And for me 9/11 is now also that paper. I have spent a long time working on it. But the day after September 11th I'll throw it away. Then it's over for me".