RESOURCES

AN-MY LÊ ON VIETNAM, THE CHAOS OF WAR, AND THE TANGIBILITY OF MEMORY

Hilton Als for Aperture (2023)

For the past two decades, An-My Lê has used photography to examine her personal history and the legacies of US military power, probing the tension between experience and storytelling.
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THE SHAPE OF F.S. BY ARNE PIEPKE WINS LUCIE FOUNDATION SCOLARSHIP

Digital Imaging Reporter (2023)

The Lucie Foundation supports emerging photographic talent with vision and dynamic ideas that challenge and progress the art form of still photography. Part of its efforts is a scholarship program. Moreover, the foundation has revealed the winners of the Lucie 2023 scholarships.

“Our support of photography is overarching, from fine art to documentary and photojournalism as well as from digital to film-based works. Our objective is to support emerging photographers producing work that is at once gripping and original,” the foundation announced.

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BASED ON TRUE EVENTS

Kenneth Dickerman for The Washington Post (2023)

War is brutal. It leaves death and psychological damage in its wake. It rips us apart. And yet, it keeps rearing its ugly head over and over. At this moment, there is a war raging and ravaging between Russia and Ukraine. You can barely escape it; coverage is everywhere.

The world is often juggling multiple conflicts, some bigger than others. But people are people and will struggle for power and dominion over others, for economic reasons, philosophical reasons. Any reason, maybe.

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DEAR SOLDIER

Guillaume Herbaut for Agence VU’ (2022)

Izium, 9th of December, 2022 : Le Monde’s journalist Ariane Chemin and Guillaume Herbaut found a hundred letters sent by Russian students to Russian soldiers fighting in Ukraine, found, amidst empty vodka bottles, toothpaste tubes and soggy pillows, in a former Ukrainian police station once occupied by the Russian army.

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DON’T CALL IT FREEDOM

Silvia Criara for Biennale fotografia femminile (2022)

With her black and white shots Fatemeh Behboudi tells the strong contrasts of Iranian society and gives a voice to the people forgotten by politicians. But also “to the inner struggles and to the painful hope” of those who, like her, live in a perennial state of waiting for a new war to break out

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IN SARAH BLESENER’S PHOTOGRAPHS, YOUTH PATRIOTISM IN AMERICA AND RUSSIA BEAR A STRIKING RESEMBLANCE

Libby Peterson for Artsy (2018)

More than 200,000 children and teens participate in patriotic camps and clubs in Russia, where they are taught national, military, and religious ideology; play sports; and practice weaponry—ultimately to be instilled with civic responsibility and, for some, to prepare for service in the Russian army. The web of programs, first started in the Soviet era, were reinvigorated following a Kremlin proposal entitled “Patriotic Education of Russian Citizens in 2016–2020,” which called for an 8 percent increase in patriotic youth and a 10 percent increase in Russian armed forces within the next decade.

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ZIYAH GAFIC’S QUEST FOR IDENTITY

M. Scott Brauer for Witness WPP.org (2019)

The photos in Ziyah Gafic’s Quest for Identity don’t really fit into the rest of his body of work. The images, quiet and clinical photos of objects left behind by those killed in summary executions in the Bosnian War, are a sharp contrast from the intimate and human moments that fill the stories from the rest of his 20-plus years as a documentary photographer. But looking a little more deeply at the project, it’s clear that they share a through-line common to all of his work across the globe.

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TIM HETHERINGTON’S SLEEPING SOLDIERS

Laura Havlin fot magnumphotos.com (2019)

The Korengal Valley was widely considered one of the most dangerous postings in the US-led coalition’s war against the Taliban in Afghanistan. Initially visiting the area alongside journalist Sebastian Junger for a Vanity Fair assignment, Tim Hetherington’s documentation of one U.S. Airborne Infantry platoon’s experiences, morphed into a two-year study that resulted in an astonishing array of work. It included traditional journalistic coverage of the Afghan war, a profound study of fighting men in the multi-screen multimedia project Sleeping Soldiers, a fly-poster exhibition, the book Infidel, and the feature documentary Restrepo – which earned Hetherington and Junger an Oscar nomination for best documentary.

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THE ARCHITECTURE OF WAR

Lorenzo Tugnoli, Philip Kennicott and Susannah George for Washington Post (2021)

At the center of Kabul, a city of traditional bazaars and tattered shopping malls, horse-drawn carts and crumbling streets thronged with automobile traffic, lies a heavily fortified district that is a mystery to most Afghans.

What was once a cluster of key offices and compounds has evolved into a 21st-century fortress encircled by blast walls, checkpoints and security cameras, creating what for many is an impenetrable urban void known as the Green Zone.

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OUTSIDE THE WIRE. ON DEBI CORNWALL’S WELCOME TO CAMP AMERICA.

Siddhartha Mitter for The Intercept_ (2018)

By the time, Debi Cornwall landed in Algeria in May 2015, in search of a former Guantánamo Bay detainee, the first phase of her photography project on the prison camp was complete. She had visited the U.S. base in Cuba three times in the previous year, making photographs that strictly complied with the rules: No faces or full-frontal views of anyone on base, no sensitive infrastructure or communications facilities, no panoramas of the site, and so on.

She pushed where she could, seeking fresh insight on the place, despite the restrictions. Of course, Cornwall made photographs “inside the wire” — the prison camp itself, or the parts where visitors were allowed, a shadow zone where the imprisoned were less seen than implied, by means of showcase cells and empty recreation pens. But equally, she turned her lens on Gitmo outside the wire, a place where over 5,600 service personnel, contractors, and family members live, most with no involvement in the prison. Her images around the base did not break protocol — the censors would have deleted them — but they expanded her view, helping Cornwall see Gitmo as a social place, albeit one with a black hole of extralegal detention, violence, and secrecy in its midst for now 16 years and counting.

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A FRACTURED LIFE: LOTTIE DAVIES’ QUINN

Isaac Huxtable for 1854 Photography (2021)

Trauma can untether, disconnecting you from the world. It can make you wander aimlessly, looking for purpose, answers, and hope. This is the case for the fictional William Henry Quinn, as he walks the length of England, Scotland and Wales in post Second World War Britain.

Six years in the making, the story of Quinn is told through multiple mediums and locations, exhibiting later this year in galleries such as the Oxo Tower, London, and the Oriel Colwyn, North Wales. Now, the series has found a new platform in photobook format.

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VINCENZO PAGLIUCA. NEAR PAST OR DISTANT FUTURE

Cristina Comparato for Urbanautica (2021)

The bunkers thus reveal themselves to be a culturally complex legacy, simultaneously singular constructions, which with their aesthetics have marked the architecture of the ‘900, but also monuments to human frailty, relics of an era marked by nationalist ideologies and oneiric dwellings.

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FILIPPO BARDAZZI. BUNKERS

Steve Bisson for Urbanautica (2020)

The quest for freedom and democracy in Albania started exactly 30 years ago, in December 1990, when popular revolutions spread all over the country. In a couple of months, the demonstrations brought to the first multi-party elections of the Balkan State (March 1991). Before that moment Albanians were living for decades under the isolationism of a ferocious socialist dictatorship. After the fall of the regime, in less than thirty years, the country has changed a lot on the path towards liberal democracy. The route is still far to be fully accomplished but there is a general will of leaving the past behind, starting from its architectonical remnants from the brutalist period as well as from the previous Italian fascist occupation. In this complex context, thousands of defensive bunkers are still lying as ubiquitous elements of the Albanian landscape and force the community to face its recent History.

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“SORRY FOR THE WAR” IS AN HONEST AND BRUTAL PORTRAYAL OF AMERICA

Pia Peterson for BuzzFeed (2021)

Since 9/11, Peter van Agtmael has photographed in both the US and the countries that the US has been at war with. His new book, Sorry for the War, interrogates and implicates politicians and regular Americans in the violence and warfare that have torn up the Middle East for the past 20 years.

He has been interested in covering war since he was young, but how he interacts with it through photography has changed immensely over the past 15 years.

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SOLDIER BY SUZANNE OPTON

Jim Casper for Lens Culture

Suzanne Opton, a photographer based in New York, has created a series of intimate and disturbing portraits of young American soldiers who had recently returned from wars in Iraq or Afghanistan (or both), and who were scheduled to return again to war after a brief stint of more training at an Army base in the United States.

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A SUBSTRATA OF DISASTER. THE SALIENT.

Michele Spagnolo on Urbanautica (2020)

In October, 1914, early in the First World War, a Salient was born. The German Army came to a halt, just at the edge of the semicircle formed by the hills surrounding the Belgian town of Ypres. Satisfied with their position, the soldiers entrenched themselves, awaiting a more propitious moment to advance. The French, Belgians and British on the other side, took advantage of the pause provided by the Germans. They too seized the opportunity to improve their defence of the Flemish stronghold, which they had managed to retain at great cost to life. It was exactly in those few days that the Ypres Salient was formed. One hundred years later, on a rainy October day, I walked down a muddy track running alongside the Bellewaerde Ridge, just a few kilometres away from Ypres. They were the first steps of a long path, which led me to travel more than 1,000 kilometres over the area of the Salient.

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WOMEN, LIFE, FREEDOM

SONJA HAMAD on FUGAZINE #09

Approximately one third of all Kurdish fighters in Rojava ( Northern Syria ) and North Iraq are women. Unafraid of death and fulfilled by their passion for their homeland and the love for their families and people, these women muster up the courage to face the heavily armed IS in Syria and North Iraq.

The IS stands for an ideological world-view according to which women are seen as inhumane beings without rights and freedom. It is in this context that the IS approves the most direct, extreme, and crass forms of patriarchy, sexism, and feudalism.

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AFTER THE ‘WAR OF ANNIHILATION’ AGAINST ISIS

Victor J. Blue for TIME (2019)

Homes make a city. More than buildings, roads, schools, markets, hospitals and shops, it’s homes and the people who live in them that create the life of a place. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria conquered Raqqa, which it named its first capital, and eventually the Iraqi city of Mosul, where it declared its caliphate, in order to control millions of those lives. Between these twin capitals, ISIS militants ruled with a level of cruelty and madness almost unknown in our time. It took a year of sustained combat to pry the two cities from their grasp. In addition to marshaling thousands of Iraqi Army and Syrian rebel ground troops, the U.S.-led coalition embarked on a relentless campaign of airstrikes to dislodge the ISIS fighters. In the process, nearly all of the city of Raqqa and the Old City of Mosul were destroyed. More than a year later, they remain in ruins, and the possibility that they will be rebuilt remains in doubt.

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ABNORMAL SENSE BY KIM HYOYEON

PX3 – Prix de la Photographie Paris (2020)

Hyeoyon Kim’s series Abnormal Senses draws on her experiences of growing up with her grandmother, who lost her entire family in 1945 when the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. The photographer spent years seeking out people whose predecessors survived the bomb, and her work is the culmination of these people sharing their experiences. “What I’ve clearly learned during my work is that the event occurred on a day 75 years ago across the sea, and yet still has a harsh and valid ripple effect across generations,” says Kim. “[The project] is the dearest letter from grandmother to mother, mother to her daughter, and daughter to her child, who will be born in the future.”

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SALLY MANN: THE EARTH REMEMBERS

Essay by Drew Gilpin Faust from Gagosian Quarterly (Spring 2018)

Sally Mann: A Thousand Crossings premiered at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC in March of 2018. Through more than 100 photographs, many of them never previously exhibited or published, the show explores the continuing influence of the American South on her work. In her essay Sally Mann: The Earth Remembers, Drew Gilpin Faust discusses the artist’s landscape photographs of Antietam, a site that more than a century ago, bore witness to one of the bloodiest battles in the American Civil War.

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LISA BARNARD: A STATE OF WAR

Interview by Darren Campion for Paper Journal (2015)

Warfare is not an a-historical tendency; it is, on the contrary, a reflection of those values that are fundamental to how the world we inhabit is organized. Lisa Barnard has probed the increasingly distanced experience of war in the early 21st Century and the results say as much about the disaffections of our contemporary social landscape as they do about warfare itself.

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AN-MY LÊ

From Protest, Art21, Season 4 (2007)

Landscape photographer An-My Lê is fascinated by military war exercises. “I think my main goal is to try to photograph landscape in such a way so that history could be suggested through the landscape, whether industrial history or my personal history,” she says. Lê discusses her return to Vietnam, where she grew up amid the violence of the Vietnam War, to photograph people’s activities, revisit childhood memories, and reconnect with her homeland, as well as her experience photographing military re-enactors, whom she found on the Internet. Unable to travel to Iraq to document current U.S. incursions in the Middle East, Lê worked with marines training at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton in California.

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SIMON NORFOLK : AFGHANISTAN – CHRONOTOPIA

Summerall TV (2004)

A film from Northern Visions TV, Belfast. Photographer Simon Norfolk discusses his exhibition ‘Afghanistan : Chronotopia’. Shown as part of Belfast Exposed, Norfolk’s exhibition is a series of landscape photographs of Afghanistan during the war at the start of the 2000s.

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