Fifteen years ago, at the start of the war on Iraq, I left Turkey and walked for four nights through monsoon-like rains into Iraq. I was on assignment for Time. I didn’t tell this story for ten years.
Photojournalist Andrew Quilty reflects on his place as an outsider in Afghanistan, exploring themes of reality versus role-playing, clichés, and the importance of photographer-editor relationships.
"The end of war does not mean peace. It is simply the end of death and destruction. Every story of war includes a chapter that almost always goes untold - the story of the aftermath,which day by day becomes the prologue of the future." - Sara Terry / Founder, The Aftermath Project The amazing Sara…
I want to attempt to come to conclusions about both the way photographers described war and how underlying larger professional and societal trends influenced the description. Needless to say, these two aspects are not independent at all. Photographers are embedded in societies. However much they might try, they can never escape the restrictions put upon them. They might fully embrace them, fight them, or engage in a combination of both. This then feeds back into the societies, which might change their thinking around wars based on what photographs tell them. It’s an imperfect feedback loop, whose imperfections are frequently being discussed by both photographers and society. Both tend to voice their dismay about war imagery not having enough power and/or impact to dissuade the starting of yet another war (by the same society having such conversations).