21 May 2005

It's a spectator sport; let's watch

“We watch the reports from the front of television as if it were a spectator sport. But they suffer for us.” – Lori Grinker

Wars never seem to end. And yet, there are some who never tire of trying to put wars to an end. In two different books of photography, two women tell their stories.

Lori Grinker, who’s been documenting the physical and psychological wounds of frontline war veterans in a fifteen-year project says, “In the aftermath of war, one culture mirrored another, it made no difference if one had been in a ‘bad’ war or a ‘good’ war, justified or unjustified, on the winning or losing side.” The result of Ms Grinker’s project is a book called “Afterwar: Veterans from a World in Conflict.”

Then there’s Jane Evelyn Atwood. Ms Atwood focuses on a single aspect of the aftermath of war: landmines and the lives they destroy. Her book, “Sentinelles de l’Ombre” (“Sleeping Soldiers”), not only contains portraits of the injured, but also the territory these people must negotiate daily in their lives. She says it wasn’t easy documenting her project: “At first, I couldn’t see past those knobs of limb that ended so abruptly. I found myself avoiding photographing the space that was left…”

If you have the courage, go to “war never ends” and see some of the photo exhibits of Lori Grinker and Jane Evelyn Atwood. You could also read Chris Hedges’ passionate essay in LA Times, “Maimed, betrayed, forgotten”, which also appeared as the introduction to Ms Grinker’s book, Afterwar.

2 comments:

pH said...
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pH said...

distressing end of dreams...