Furthering his investigation of the Cold War’s legacy, Michael Love‘s The Long Wait photographically documents the twelve military bases in Germany that Canadian troops occupied between 1949 and 1993. Resting along the ideological fault lines of communism and capitalism and embodying a Canadian colonisation of European space, for over forty years these bases were home to thousands of troops where along with their families they lived out an isolated interpretation of Canadian life while waiting for and guarding against a hot war that never was. Today, as the Canadian state and nation plans an exit from its long active, but far less deeply entrenched deployment in Afghanistan, these photographs reveal the ruins of a recent military era where cultural roots were firmly dropped. While a few sites have been refurbished and transformed to meet the demands of their present-day purposes, most are desolate and void. These neglected and idle buildings, much like deteriorating time capsules, stand abandoned in vast fields. The once strategically located army posts, erected for the fight against the Soviet invasion, now actively battle decay and wild vegetation growth.
Evident from the fate of other historically significant sites, these military bases too no longer bear the weight of their original function, naturally as a result of the shift that has occurred in the geopolitical climate with passage of time. Either repurposed for other tangible services, or left unused and neglected, these bases now merely offer a faint memory of a conflict where the threat of a nuclear war was once deemed inevitable.