"Ootlin, tell our maisters this:
We lie here deid. We did as we were told"
(Stranger, tell our masters this:
We lie here dead. We did as we were told.)
This is the inscription above these body bags. They form part of an exhibition at Edinburgh College of Art by photographer Norman McBeath and poet Robert Crawford. It features black and white photographs of a contemplative nature paired with Scots (and English) translations of epitaphs by Simonides, an ancient Greek poet. These epitaphs were written for civilians and soldiers killed during the Persian Wars (492 to 449 BC) in what is now Iran, Iraq and Afganistan.
In contrast to what you might expect, the exhibition wasn't depressing, but instead very beautiful and moving with clear relevance for today. There was also humour in many of the texts and in some of the pairings of texts and photographs. It's on until 11 September (slightly longer than advertised) and I would thoroughly recommend it.