Battlespace – Unrealities of War
9 – 30th November 2010
Location: Gallery & Project Space
Battlespace, an exhibition of photographs from Afghanistan and Iraq that brings together the work of twenty photojournalists around the world, comes to London this November.
Photographs by Andrew Cutraro, Ashley Gilbertson, Balazs Gardi, Ben Lowy, Christoph Bangert, Eros Hoagland, Ghaith Abdul Ahad, Guy Calaf, Jason Howe, Jehad Nga, Lucian Read, Luke Wolagiewicz, Moises Saman, Petervan Agtmael, Rita Leistner, Stefan Zaklin, Stephanie Sinclair, Teru Kuwayama and Yuri Kozyrev.
Battlespace: The environment, factors and conditions, which must be understood to successfully apply combat power, protect the force, or complete the mission. This includes the air, land, sea, space, and the included enemy and friendly forces, facilities, weather, terrain, the electromagnetic spectrum, and information environment within the operational areas and areas of interest. US Department of Defense.
The exhibition presents an unsanitised view of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan to a public that has been shielded from disturbing images of war. Battlespace questions the perceptions, agendas, and narratives of the military and the media, and attempts to offer an unfiltered account from a group of photographers who saw it first hand.
These photographs were made in Afghanistan and Iraq, but they don’t claim to depict either country. They are glimpses of an alternate reality built upon those countries. The images do not provide a comprehensive account of these wars, or an understanding of these nations or their peoples.
They are fragments, seen in off-moments behind the walls of concrete super-bases, or outside them, through night-vision goggles and ballistic eye shields.
Counter insurgency theory, once again fashionable, holds that the prize of modern warfare is not the territory but the minds of the population within. The battlespace is not solely defined by map lines or grid squares, but also in the areas of perception and illusion. In this shifting, human terrain, there are no facts or truths, only competing agendas. Messages are shaped and transmitted, from bunkered press officers to journalists who report from behind blast-walls and cubicle partitions. Unpleasant, complex, or off-message images are filtered by both sides, and war stories are recycled through the echo chamber.
Battlespace aims to present unfiltered and uncensored images and thereby give the viewer a real opportunity to discover, for themselves, the realities of war.
Battlespace will be accompanied by a programme of talks, film, poetry and Q&A events related to the exhibition and its subjects. Details TBA – for full details visit www.watch-this-space.org
In association with the Photography Course and Media & Communication Department at Coventry University The Frontline Club.