Irish photographer Richard Mosse made this image with Kodak Aerochrome, a discontinued infrared film once used by the U. S. Air Force for aerial military reconnaissance, rendering the vegetal landscape in intense and surreal red, pink, and purple hues. Taken above the frontier between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, this area has played host to numerous conflicts between warring rebel groups responsible for the deaths of over 5 million people since 1998, most from preventable diseases due to collapse of infrastructure. Regarding his use of the military film, Mosse commented that 'Using a part of a weapon to figure the refugee crisis is a deeply ambivalent and political task, and building a new language around that weapon – one of compassion and disorientation, one that allows the viewer to see these events through an unfamiliar and alienating technology – is a deeply political gesture' (quoted in 'Richard Mosse – Incoming,' The British Journal of Photography Online, 15 February 2017).
The titles of Mosse’s photographs often allude to pop songs by artists as diverse as Leonard Cohen (‘First We Take Manhattan’) and The Pixies (‘Wave of Mutilation’). The present photograph, titled ‘Here Come the Warm Jets,’ references Brian Eno’s debut solo album released in 1974.