Fragments From The Wars


Eliza Williams previews a London photography show, Battlespace, presenting an "unsanitized view" of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. From the exhibit's catalogue text:

These photographs were made in Afghanistan and Iraq, but they don’t claim to depict either country. They are glimpses of an alternate reality built upon those countries. The images do not provide a comprehensive account of these wars, or an understanding of these nations or their peoples. They are fragments, seen in off-moments behind the walls of concrete super-bases, or outside them, through night-vision goggles and ballistic eye shields. ...

The battlespace is not solely defined by map lines or grid squares, but also in the areas of perception and illusion. ... In this shifting, human terrain, there are no facts or truths, only competing agendas. ... Unpleasant, complex, or off-message images are filtered by both sides, and war stories are recycled through the echo chamber.

(Image: Battleplans, Operation Rock Avalanche. Afghanistan, 2007. By Balazs Gardi)