“I slowly watched him disappear” is the first part of an extended essay of images called “Third Womb.” This larger inquiry organizes my meditations on the fantasy, construction, rupture, de-construction and betrayal of the military body.

“I slowly watched him disappear” is about Sharrod, a high school student finding his way through the United States military preparatory program called the National Junior Reserve Officer’s Training Corps (NJROTC).

Sharrod’s mother said to me, “Whenever he puts on his uniform, I no longer see my son.”

Documented over the course of four years, “I slowly watched him disappear” gives the viewer entrance into Sharrod’s world as he tries on and plays with the expectations and fantasy he’s being asked to meet and embody. As a complimentary narrative, Sharrod’s selfies and various cell phone photographs have been incorporated to broaden this extended documentary portrait of Sharrod and his journey.

—Jason Hanasik

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