How One Photographer Aims to Make Sense of the Iraq War

In the documentary 'Shooting War,' Franco Pagetti looks back on his work in Iraq

More than a movie about Italian photographer Franco Pagetti’s work, the short documentary Shooting War (23 minutes) is a lesson in practicing critical visual literacy. Beyond the photographer himself, several people chime in, including Alice Gabriner, International Photo Editor at TIME who assigned the VII photographer to cover the war in Iraq from 2003 until the end of 2008, and Sara Farhan, a History Ph.D. candidate at York University in Toronto

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The sheets are strung between buildings (what’s left of them, at least) and across streets. They are meant to obscure a sharpshooter’s line of sight, providing a small measure of protection from an assassin lurking in the shadows of these often abandoned and devastated neighborhoods

Franco Pagetti: Flashback Iraq

Pagetti arrived in Baghdad shortly before the war broke out. His movements were limited by the regime, but that was before the horror and violence that would kill more civilians than soldiers (like all modern wars) and that would force him to cover the rest of the war under the protection of the U.S. military

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In the five years Baghdad was my home, I got to work (or just hang out) with some of the finest news photographers in the world: Yuri Kozyrev, Franco Pagetti, Kate Brooks, James Nachtwey, Robert Nicklesberg, Lynsey Addario, the late Chris Hondros… the list is as long as it is distinguished. Their immense talent and incredible bravery combined to make the Iraq war arguably the most exhaustively photographed conflict in human history. This selection doesn’t begin to capture the immensity of their collective achievement, but it is evocative of the horrors — and just occasionally, hope — they were able to chronicle.

The Rebels

In Part Two of VII The Magazine's series on Libya Franco Pagetti looks at the rebel movement in the Benghazi area of Libya. Even with the support of NATO and the United States they have achieved little towards any kind of victory. The only certainty in this conflict is that the death toll will continue to rise.

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Franco Pagetti captures the bleak mood pervading Afghanistan and its environs today. Despite the massive presence of Western soldiers, large parts of Afghanistan remain in limbo. For most ordinary Afghans, little has changed for the better, and much has changed for the worse, especially in the countryside, where the Taliban remains strong and entrenched.

Worth a Look: “Our World At War” by the photographers of VII and the International Committee of the Red Cross

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dvafoto says:

VII and the International Committee of the Red Cross have just unveiled their globe-spanning project documenting current humanitarian crises, “Our World At War.” The work includes: Lebanon by Franco Pagetti, Afghanistan by James Nachtwey, Haiti by Ron Haviv, Caucasus by Antonin Kratochvil, Liberia by Christopher Morris, Colombia by Franco Pagetti, Philippines by James Nachtwey, and Congo by Ron Haviv.