In a new oral history of the Iraq war, Peter van Agtmael discusses what attracted him to photographing the American-led invasion — his roots, ambitions, experiences and reflections.
“Photojournalists on War,” an oral history of the Iraq war by those who documented it from the front lines, was published this month by the University of Texas Press. The book consists of interviews conducted by Michael Kamber, who covered the war for eight years for The New York Times and is a co-founder of the Bronx Documentary Center.
At 24—the same age as many of the soldiers he would go on to document—van Agtmael began the project during an embed with American troops engaged in heavy fighting around Mosul, Iraq. “As an American of the generation shouldering these wars, I feel a strong responsibility to document their cost,” says the photographer, whose lens captured everything from violent firefights and days-long foot patrols to the rehabilitation of those maimed by war. ”Over the course of my lifetime, I intend to keep returning to [these conflicts] to create a comprehensive document.”
Peter van Agtmael saw many Iraqi and Afghan civilians while he was embedded with the American military between 2006 and 2010. He took compelling images, but like most Western photographers, he found himself documenting the American perspective of the wars. He wasn’t able to have a real, intimate experience with civilians, he said, “because of the tension military patrols create.”
Peter van Agtmael has been named the winner of the 2012 W. Eugene Smith Fund Grant in Humanistic Photography. Van Agtmael, a Brooklyn, New York photographer represented by Magnum Photos, plans to use the grant to work on “Disco Night September 11.” The pr
Van Agtmael, a Brooklyn, New York photographer represented by Magnum Photos, plans to use the grant to work on “Disco Night September 11.”
On Wednesday evening, the Magnum photographer Peter van Agtmael accepted the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund Grant for Humanistic Photography in a ceremony …
a slide show of van Agtmael’s images, along with those of Massimo Berruti, who won the W. Eugene Smith fellowship to continue his work on Pakistan. “The Dusty Path,” Berruti said, is a project “about a nation trapped between violence and political corruption. A trembling giant on the brink of a deep abyss.”
The photographers interviewed include photojournalists such as Ed Kashi of the VII Agency and Peter Van Agtmael of Magnum, fashion photographer Peter Stigter, Iranian photographer Newsha Tavakolian, and others
Last night, Peter van Agtmael was awarded the prestigious Infinity Award for Young Photographer of the Year by the International Center of Photography. Kira Pollack, Director of Photography at TIME, reflects on the importance of his work as an editor firmly committed to his vision.
War is brutal and impersonal. It mocks the fantasy of individual heroism and the absurdity of utopian goals like democracy. In an instant, industrial warfa
In Peter van Agtmael’s “2nd Tour Hope I don’t Die” and Lori Grinker’s “Afterwar: Veterans From a World in Conflict,” two haunting books of war photographs, we see pictures of war which are almost always hidden from public view. These pictures are shadows, for only those who go to and suffer from war can fully confront the visceral horror of it, but they are at least an attempt to unmask war’s savagery.
In the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, where images have largely been sanitized, Peter van Agtmael’s photographs offer an up-close look at wars that, to most, seem emotionally blurred and distant. His recently released book, “2nd Tour, Hope I Don’t Die,” is a young photojournalist’s firsthand experience: the wars’ effects on him, on the soldiers and on the countries involved.
A short conversation with the new Magnum nominees Olivia Arthur and Peter van Agtmael – the photo blog of Magnum Photos
A week ago, during the 61st Annual General Meeting of Magnum, two new nominees were welcomed into the circle of Magnum Photographers. Once a year, the photographers from Magnum travel to Paris, London or New York for their Annual General Meeting (AGM). The 2008 AGM took place at the end of June in Paris. One day of the AGM is reserved to look at submitted portfolios and to decide upon new nominees, associates and members.
English photographer Olivia Arthur (28) and American-Dutch photographer Peter van Agtmael (27) are the new nominees for 2008.