Hidden under the former battlefields of World War I lie hundreds of forgotten rock quarries transformed into underground cities by armies on both sides.
Cloaked in darkness under private land in the beautiful French countryside, these underground cities are bristling with artifacts, sculptures and emotionally charged “graffiti” created by WWI soldiers a century ago. Frozen-in-time, these cities beneath the trenches form a direct human connection to men who lived a century ago. They make hundred years ago seem like yesterday. They are a Hidden World of WWI that is all but unknown, even to the French.
American medical doctor, fine art photographer and explorer Jeffery Gusky was introduced to these underground cities by landowners and dedicated volunteers and their families who fiercely guard the secrets of these spaces with loving care to prevent them from being vandalized and to preserve them for the future.
About twenty years before WWI, blind faith in progress and public opinion, amplified as never before by
the brand new technology of mass media, led to a gradual, almost imperceptible relaxation of judgment and
Human scale allows us to be human, to acquire the self awareness necessary for conscience. Conscience compels us to ask hard questions about what it means to be human in a world of inhuman scale.
Featured in the August issue of National Geographic
About Jeff Gusky
Jeff Gusky lives two lives, one as a rural emergency physician and the other as a fine-art photographer and explorer.
Dr. Gusky’s first year of medical school at the University of Washington was spent in Alaska as part of the WAMI Program, created to inspire students to become country doctors. Gusky graduated high in his class and was inducted into Alpha Omega Alpha, the National Honor Medical Society. He combined his love of flying and rural medicine and used his plane to reach remote hospital emergency rooms on short notice throughout Texas and Oklahoma. Since 1991, he has taught trauma skills to other physicians as an instructor in the Advanced Trauma Life Support program and is a fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians.