Frontline Reporting

Zoriah Miller - whose work I have just found out about thanks to a NY Times article on the censorship of photographs of dead U.S. soldiers in Iraq - has an information packed blog which is well worth checking out not just for the photography but also to see how a photographer can use the web to promote and detail their activities.

The photographs he posted of a suicide attack on June 26th caused him to be dis-embedded by the U.S. Military commanders and are the cause of this recent controversy over displaying photographs of dead soldiers.

Though I sympathise with the idea that relatives and friends may not wish to see the horrific aftermath of violence which took their loved ones from them, surely the point is that war is a brutal ugly vicious thing and only if we - who are not on the frontline - understand this then maybe we would be more reluctant to pursue this unpleasant human activity.

Furthermore, to say that photographs of this nature disrespect the dead is a matter I would debate. If I were a soldier, I would see it as my duty to fight in order to bring about peace. Peace, afterall, is the ultimate aim of war. If I died in combat, and photographs of my dismembered body would help to bring about a swifter resolution to the combat then I would be happy for people to know and to see my sacrifice so that my colleagues might be brought home to their families sooner.

Let us be honest. War is disgusting. Why anyone, anywhere should have to endure a violent premature death is beyond me. Photographs like Zoriah's help me understand that. If we are to live in peaceful world, we need to know what the alternative looks like.

A young soldier displays a tattoo reading "Walk Peacefully on Heavens Streets, You've Done You're Time in Hell." Baghdad, Iraq - July, 2007.

© Zoriah/


Richard said...

That was an informative article. My eyes popped open this morning around 5 for no apparent reason so I started reading news and happened upon that article. it's funny how great minds think alike.

Tom White said...

I'm not even gonna begin on the subject of the reporting on Iraqi civilian deaths - that would get my blood boiling.

e_a said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
e_a said...

I'd been offline some while, and logged back in over here after seeing Zoriah's blog for the first time and immediately thinking of photographylot. Jolting stuff.