This is a video about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It says about itself:
War Photographers: Michael Kamber and Louie Palu on Iraq and Afghanistan
Aug 2, 2013
“We were supposed to go into Iraq, hold elections, turn over the keys, and get out,” says Michael Kamber, a photojournalist and editor of the book Photojournalists on War: The Untold Stories from Iraq. “That’s not how it works, and we need to think about that next time we get involved in a military adventure.”
It is almost impossible to read Kamber’s new book without reflecting on how many of its photographs were taken by people who were either killed, severely injured, or taken captive during the conflict. Kamber, who photographed the war over a ten year period, counts himself among the survivors. His book is a testament not only to eight years of brutal warfare, but to the 39 photographers whose work is represented in its pages.
ReasonTV sat down with Kamber at WAR/PHOTOGRAPHY, an exhibit at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, to hear the stories behind the unforgettable photographs in his book. It’s an in-depth account of the Iraq War from photojournalists who witnessed key events at close range.
Many of the the book’s 160 images have been widely distributed, their impact indelibly marked in the American mind. Other images, which are just as powerful, have rarely been seen. “Photojournalists on War” also includes compelling eyewitness accounts of battles, the disintegration of soldiers’ marriages, and the lasting effects of post-traumatic stress disorder.
While Kamber’s book chronicles the work of photojournalists who were mostly backed by major publications, images of war are increasingly made by enterprising individuals. In 2006, photojournalist Louie Palu quit his job and traveled to Afghanistan at his own risk and on his own dime. He had never covered a war before. Working without the support — or the constraints — of an editor meant that he was able to photograph with plenty of of artistic freedom. His images are stunning, and it’s no surprise that his series of portraits and panoramic black-and-white shots reveal an Afghanistan that looks very different from most press photography.
Palu is also producing “The Durrani Kings” a documentary about his experiences photographing Kandahar province, the birthplace of the Taliban.
Both Palu and Kamber remain skeptical of the wars they witnessed. Broken promises and official censorship have led to a public that remains poorly informed about war’s devastating effects on ordinary civilians.
It’s often said that the truth is always the first casualty of war. The images of Kamber and Palu are attempts to correct the record.
The Corcoran exhibit continues until September 29.
From Trend News in Azerbaijan:
U.S. military arrests Afghan journalist: Newspaper
U.S. forces arrested an Afghan journalist from Khost province east of Afghanistan, a local newspaper reported Thursday. “American troops Tuesday night raided the house of a local journalist Noora Jan Baheer and took him into custody along with his two brothers,” Daily Arman-e-Millie writes, Xinhua reported.
Noora Jan, according to the newspaper, was working as a reporter for Kilid group, a media outlet running a local radio and a magazine.
Governor of Khost province Hamidullah Qalandarzai, the newspaper reported, would talk with the U.S. forces on the subject while Media Center, a body to defend journalist rights has called for the early release of Baheer.
From USA Today:
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration’s plan to boost aid to Afghanistan is shaping up as a boon to private contractors, including a company whose previous work on U.S.-funded Afghan aid programs has been criticized by auditors.
Despite Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s call to reduce the reliance on foreign aid contractors, the main U.S. aid agency is continuing to award multimillion-dollar contracts as it proposed to increase development spending in Afghanistan to $2.8 billion.
Clinton has dubbed past Afghanistan aid efforts a “heartbreaking” failure.
Last month, the U.S. Agency for International Development awarded a $150 million cooperative agreement to a partnership led by DAI, a Maryland company whose past Afghanistan contracts have been criticized by USAID’s inspector general. The program is to promote alternatives to poppy crops.
An inspector general’s audit released May 11 criticized DAI’s performance on a $164 million contract to promote local governance. Success, the audit found, was “highly questionable” in part because DAI “had no overall strategy” for implementing local projects.
A top United Nations human rights envoy challenged Washington on Wednesday to disclose how many civilians die in its overseas wars.
- Conflict Photogs Reflect on the Realities of the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (petapixel.com)
- Yesterday’s AP Photo of Afghan Suicide Bombing: Revisiting the Censorship of Images of Wounded American Soldiers (bagnewsnotes.com)
- Afghani Member of Parliament: “Execute Afghan Christian converts.” (christiantoday.com)
- Afghan officials say NATO air strike killed nine civilians http://t.co/Wd8qe27Yvx (theguardian.com)