“There I met the men, women, and children who walked the fields and survived, often with damaged bodies and scarred lives, who emerged with new ideologies, conflicts, questions, and emotions, with the special knowledge of the killer, the hero, and the defeated. In the aftermath of war, one culture mirrored another, it made no difference if one had been in a ‘bad’ war or a ‘good’ war, justified or unjustified, on the winning or losing side.”
The artist’s challenge was to make photographs that would transcend the personal tragedy of these individuals to become something universally symbolic and understood.
An exhibition of large scale color photographs is currently showing at Nailya Alexander Gallery in NYC, and is accompanied by the artist’s recent book of the same title, which includes her interviews with the veterans. Afterwar illuminates our culture of war and is especially relevant amidst the ongoing carnage in Afghanistan, Iraq, Chechnya, Columbia, Congo, Kashmir, the Middle East, and Sudan. The exhibition encourages viewers to reflect upon the complex social, economic, and political conditions of conflict.
As Lori puts it: “We watch the reports from the front on television as if it were a spectator sport. But they suffer for us. They are our sacrificial lambs. Through this project, I hope their images and words will serve as a powerful reminder of the wastefulness of war.”
Afterwar: Veterans from a World in Conflict
by Lori Grinker
With Robert Pledge, Chris Hedges and Jacques Menasche
Hardcover, 224 pages
11.3 x 8.5 inches
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