Through 15 different photographic series from all over the world, we explore a wide-ranging set of perspectives on the age-old ritual of war. From the bright-eyed, enthusiastic days of training, all the way to the dewey-eyed remembrance of all those young lives sacrificed in the name of some larger cause. In between, we find women at war, children happily carrying on in the midst of conflict, veterans who question the morality of what they did, and others who never fought but strive to make sense of the decisions of those who did.

Regardless of one's feelings about the practice of war, young men and women all over the world continue to put on a uniform (or simply grab a gun) and head off to defend their country, their freedom, their way of life. In the United States, the last Monday of every May is called "Memorial Day," a day set aside to memorialize those who died while serving. These photographs offer many different ways in which to remember, review, and rethink the struggles, decisions and deeds of soldiers from around the world, both in the distant past and in the very real present.

—Alexander Strecker

At War

Karmah (Garma) October 31, 2006. Sgt. Jesse E. Leach drags Lance Cpl. Juan Valdez of Weapons Company, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines, to safety moments after he was shot by a sniper during a patrol. Valez was shot through the arm and right torso but survived. © João Silva/The New York Times

Photojournalists on War contains nearly 40 interviews with front-line photographers, offering an astounding array of stories and perspectives from the Iraq War. By Michael Kamber.

© Tim Bowditch

Made by an active serviceman's brother, this series offers a view of the hardship and the banality that make up the lives of soldiers serving in Afghanistan. By Tim Bowditch.

Fadwa, 20, widow with 3 children: "My husband died on the front lines, I will die on the front lines, may God help us." From the series "Women of War" © Sebastiano Tomada

Moving portraits and stories from several women who are part of an all-female fighting unit in war-torn Aleppo, Syria. By Sebastiano Tomada.

After War

Zinaida Nikolaieva Famienska, Maladechna, was in the partisan force. From the series, "I Reminisce and Cry for Life (Women veterans of II World War in Belarus)" © Agnieszka Rayss. Finalist, LensCulture Exposure Awards 2013.

Portraits of women veterans of World War II in Belarus —former teenage soldiers, now in their 90s. Their stories deserve to be known. By Agnieszka Rayss.

From the photobook "The Grey Line" © Jo Metson Scott

A reflection on war told from the perspective of US and UK soldiers who have spoken out against the Iraq War—a moving collection of the individual personal struggles that soldiers face about the morality of conflict. By Jo Metson Scott.

Emiel, age 26. From the series "Here are the Young Men (Marked)" © Claire Felicie

How do the faces of soldiers change — before, during, and then after, war? By Claire Felicie.

Dani Shimoni in the pool at Beit Halochem, Warrior’s Home, in Tel Aviv, Israel, 1995 Born: 1960, Served: Israeli Defense Forces, Conflict: Israeli Invasion of Lebanon 1982-85. © Lori Grinker, courtesy of Nailya Alexander Gallery

A book-length documentation about the physical and psychological wounds that scar war veterans from World War I to the Iraq War. By Lori Grinker.

Around the Edges of Conflict

In the final test, the frogmen-to-be have to undergo their most difficult challenge: 'The Road to Heaven'. The conscripts crawl must crawl along a bed of sharp stones. © Touko Hujanen

Every year, 100 Taiwanese youngsters test themselves to the limits in order to become frogmen — marine commandos with the highest status. Here we follow the 21 best during the final 3 days of their grueling training. By Touko Hujanen.

Military kiosk counter, Shaare Avraham, Israel, 2004 © Rachel Papo

The life of an eighteen-year-old Israeli girl is interrupted to serve in an army involved in daily conflict and war.An insider's look at this difficult rite of passage. By Rachel Papo.

Vietnam. Saigon. The Year of the Buffalo. 1973. © Christine Spengler

Ranging over several decades and all over the world, this large retrospective series shows people's attempts to have some sort of ordinary life during the ravages of conflict. Showcasing images from Northern Ireland, Vietnam and many more. By Christine Spengler.

The Landscape of War

Former teahouse in a park next to the Afghan Exhibition of Economic and Social Achievements in the Shah Shahid district of Kabul. Balloons were illegal under the Taliban, but now balloon-sellers are common on the streets of Kabul providing cheap treats for children. © Simon Norfolk

Exploring the idea of "battlefields" and how that term has expanded in meaning in recent wars. Featuring images from several series (with audio interview). By Simon Norfolk.

Artillery emplacement, Bunker Z84, Wadi Zitoune Battlefield, Libya © Matthew Arnold
A consideration of the varied landscapes of North Africa that the Allied soldiers of World War II were forced to endure. The emptiness of the landscapes allows viewers to fill in the negative space with their own visualization of the war. By Matthew Arnold.

Remembering War

© Flip Franssen

A series of photos of the cemeteries and memorials in the area of the Battle of the Somme in World War I. By Flip Franssen.

© Jessica HinesMy Brother's War

After Gary, a Vietnam War veteran, took his own life, his sister felt compelled to retrace his "footsteps," using his own photographs and letters from the war as guides. By Jessica Hines.

© Denise Myers

This project invites you to consider the sights, sounds and smells of the soldiers who fought in D-Day as well as those who attempt to connect with the past, looking out across a tranquil, unthreatening sea. By Denise Myers.

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