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Taken out of context, some of these images are comical. Others are banal. All of them document the pervasive surveillance habits of the Stasi, the former East German secret police.

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Maureen Drennan doesn't grow marijuana herself. Nor does she smoke it. But she has spent the past few years photographing a picturesque little pot farm in California

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Paper lanterns float along the Motoyasu River in front of the illuminated Atomic Bomb Dome near Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima, western Japan. The Japanese city of Hiroshima on Saturday marked the 66th anniversary of the bombing, as the nation fights a different kind of disaster from atomic technology – a nuclear plant in a meltdown crisis after being hit by a tsunami.

People loot a shop in Hackney, east London, Monday, Aug. 8, 2011. Violence and looting spread across some of London’s most impoverished neighborhoods on Monday, with youths setting fire to shops and vehicles, during a third day of rioting in the city that will host next summer’s Olympic Games.

The shrouded body of 12-month-old Liin Muhumed Surow lays before burial at UNHCR’s Ifo Extention camp outside Dadaab, Eastern Kenya, 60 miles from the Somali border.The drought and famine in the horn of Africa has killed more than 29,000 children under the age of 5 in the last 90 days in southern Somalia alone, according to U.S. estimates.

 August 12, 2011

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Paper lanterns float along the Motoyasu River in front of the illuminated Atomic Bomb Dome near Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima, western Japan, Saturday, Aug. 6, 2011. The Japanese city of Hiroshima on Saturday marked the 66th anniversary of the bombing, as the nation fights a different kind of disaster from atomic technology - a nuclear plant in a meltdown crisis after being hit by a tsunami. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara) #

 August 12, 2011

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An Indian Muslim girl wears a fancy dress as she waits for noon prayers to begin at the Jama Masjid, in New Delhi, India, Friday, Aug. 12, 2011. Muslims throughout the world are marking the holy month of Ramadan, where observants fast from dawn till dusk. (AP Photo/ Kevin Frayer) #

 August 12, 2011

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Artists of the Havana Company warm up before participating at the Circuba festival's opening gala in Havana, Cuba, Monday, Aug. 8, 2011. More than 100 circus artists from fourteen countries are participating at the 2011 Circuba festival to be held in Havana Aug. 8 - 14. (AP Photo/Franklin Reyes) #

 August 12, 2011

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Giraffe mother "Jujis" (L) looks after her giraffe baby "Thabo" in their enclosure at the zoo of Hanover, northern Germany on August 12, 2011. The 1.90 metre tall and 80 kilogramme heavy Rothschild giraffe baby will be fed by his mother for th next15 months. The Rothschild giraffe is among the most endangered giraffe subspecies with only a few hundred members in the wild. AFP PHOTO / HOLGER HOLLEMANN #

 August 12, 2011

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Captain Max Ferguson, company commander of the US troops from the Charlie Company, 2-87 Infantry, 3rd Brigade Combat Team play with Afghan children during a joint patrol with Afghan National Army soldiers at Kandalay village in the southern Afghan province of Kandahar on August 8, 2011 while US troops launched missile attacks on Taliban targets in nearby Kelawai village killing at least three and capturing two insurgents. US forces push their counterinsurgency efforts to battle for the hearts and minds of the local population. TOPSHOTS AFP PHOTO / ROMEO GACAD #

 August 12, 2011

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A Perseid meteor streaks across the sky during the Perseid meteor shower on Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2009 in Vinton, Calif. (AP Photo/Kevin Clifford) #

 August 12, 2011

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A youth sits on a window sill surrounded by flood waters in Tikiapara, some 25 kms west of Kolkata, on August 10, 2011. The strength of the annual June-September downpour is vital to hundreds of millions of farmers and to economic growth in Asia's third largest economy which gets 80 percent of its annual rainfall during the monsoon. AFP PHOTO/Dibyangshu #

 August 12, 2011

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A Somali lady stands with several jerry cans of water, ready to be transported by camel in the town of Dhobley on August 11, 2011. Idman is suffering from malaria and severe malnutrition, but his parents have no money to buy him drugs. With no health facilities in the region, the family are hoping to cross to Kenya's Dadaab refugee complex, some 100km away. Hundreds fleeing drought and famine-hit areas elsewhere in southern Somalia stream daily into the small town of simple tin shacks and huts. Although Dhobley is just five kilometres (three miles) from the Kenyan border, the sprawling Dadaab refugee complex -- the largest in the world with more than 400,000 people -- is still a tough 100-kilometre walk ahead. AFP PHOTO/PHIL MOORE #

 August 12, 2011

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TOPSHOTS Supporters of former presidential challenger and opposition leader Kizza Besigye try to run away from Ugandan authorities in the town of Masaka in Uganda on August 10, 2011. Besigye pledged to join in with the protests at a candle-lit vigil in the town of Masaka, around 140 kilometres (87 miles) southwest of Kampala. Army and police fired teargas at a crowd of opposition supporters following the service as they tried to make their way to lay a wreath at the house where the child was shot. MICHELE SIBILONI/AFP/Getty Images #

 August 12, 2011

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Representatives of the 21st Annual Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival in New York walk with a dragon head on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange before ringing the closing bell on August 11, 2011. US stocks made another dramatic comeback after a stunning fall on Thursday, in another day of extreme volatility in markets around the world. The Dow Jones Industrial Average battled back from Wednesday's 520-point loss with a 3.94 percent gain, adding 422.84 points to close at 11,142.78. The broader S&P 500 rebounded 4.63 percent, up 51.87 points to 1,172.63, while the Nasdaq gained 111.63 points, or 4.69 percent, to 2,492.68. STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images #

 August 12, 2011

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A pregnant Somali woman sits by a tree trunk at UNHCR's Ifo Extension camp outside Dadaab, eastern Kenya, 100 kms (60 miles) from the Somali border, Tuesday Aug. 9, 2011. U.S. President Barack Obama has approved $105 million for humanitarian efforts in the Horn of Africa to combat worsening drought and famine. The drought and famine in the horn of Africa has killed more than 29,000 children under the age of 5 in the last 90 days in southern Somalia alone, according to U.S. estimates. The U.N. says 640,000 Somali children are acutely malnourished, suggesting the death toll of small children will rise. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay) #

 August 12, 2011

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A Somali boy sings an Irish song to his classmates during class at the Illeys primary school in Dagahaley refugee camp north of Dadaab, Eastern Kenya, 100 kms (60 miles) from the Somali border, Thursday Aug. 11, 2011. The United Nations warned Wednesday that the famine in East Africa hasn't peaked and hundreds of thousands of people face imminent starvation and death without a massive global response.About 1,300 new refugees arrive each day in Dadaab camps in northeastern Kenya. The new influx are running away from a famine that is getting worse in southern Somalia as an al-Qaida-linked militants in the country barred some major aid groups from operating in its areas of control, worsening the situation of the most vulnerable people. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay) #

 August 12, 2011

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People loot a shop in Hackney, east London, Monday, Aug. 8, 2011. Violence and looting spread across some of London's most impoverished neighborhoods on Monday, with youths setting fire to shops and vehicles, during a third day of rioting in the city that will host next summer's Olympic Games. (AP Photo/PA, Lewis Whyld) #

 August 12, 2011

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A masked youth pulls a burning garbage bin set on fire by rioters in Hackney, east London, Monday, Aug. 8, 2011. Violence and looting spread across some of London's most impoverished neighborhoods on Monday, with youths setting fire to shops and vehicles, during a third day of rioting in the city that will host next summer's Olympic Games. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis) #

 August 12, 2011

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The sun sets behind a mast of a fishing boat as kids walk at the port of Palouki about 300 kilometers (186 miles) west of Athens , Greece , on Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2011.(AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris) #

 August 12, 2011

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An Indian police officer hits news photographer Shekhar Ghosh, right, from the Hindi newspaper Dainik Bhaskar, during a protest against corruption by supporters of opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi, India, Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2011. Police used bamboo batons and water canons to control thousands of angry supporters of India's main opposition party who were marching in New Delhi to protest against the government's hosting of last year's Commonwealth Games among other corruption charges. Auditors slammed India's preparations and conduct of the Commonwealth Games last year as deeply flawed, riddled with favoritism and vastly more expensive than planned in a final report that could result in criminal prosecutions. (AP Photo/Kevin Frayer) #

 August 12, 2011

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In this photo taken Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2011, workers fix an electrical power transmission tower in near the Sports City under construction in Greater Noida, India. The Indian car racing fraternity is banking on the Budh International Circuit near New Delhi to kick off a mass following for motor sports with its maiden Formula 1 race this year. Even as workers slog overtime to get the venue in shape, officials are growing confident of the event on Oct. 30 changing the face of car racing in India, a country of 1.2 billion where cricket reigns and other sports take a backseat. (AP Photo/Gurinder Osan) #

 August 12, 2011

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A Kashmiri woman removes lotus leaves from the water of Dal Lake in Srinagar, India, Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2011. Dal Lake is famous for its natural beauty and a popular destination for both Indian and foreign tourists. (AP Photo/Mukhtar Khan) #

 August 12, 2011

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An Indian police officer looks from behind his rain covered shield during a monsoon rain shower as he and others stand guard at a protest by the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party in New Delhi, India, Thursday, Aug. 11, 2011. According to local news reports , India's monsoon rain index rose nearly 14 percent in the last week, an increase over the previous period where rain levels were down. (AP Photo/Kevin Frayer) #

 August 12, 2011

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Street beggars use a plastic sheet to take shelter from rain in Srinagar, India, Friday, Aug.12, 2011. (AP Photo/Mukhtar Khan) #

 August 12, 2011

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Indian Muslim boys stand on a platform to offer prayers at a mosque in Allahabad, India, Friday, Aug. 12, 2011. Muslims throughout the world are marking the month of Ramadan, the holiest month in Islamic calendar where observants fast from dawn till dusk. (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh) #

 August 12, 2011

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Indian Muslim men smoke as they break the Ramadan fast near the Jama Masjid in New Delhi, India, Thursday, Aug. 11, 2011. Muslims around the world are marking the holy fasting month of Ramadan, where the observant fast from dawn until dusk. (AP Photo/Kevin Frayer) #

 August 12, 2011

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Ultra-Orthodox Jews attend a prayer as they gather in the religious neighborhood of Mea Shearim to protest against summer events organized by the city council, Jerusalem, Thursday, Aug. 11, 2011. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue) #

 August 12, 2011

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Somali boys walk in the Dagahaley refugee camp north of Dadaab, Eastern Kenya, 100 kms (60 miles) from the Somali border, Thursday Aug. 11, 2011. The United Nations warned Wednesday that the famine in East Africa hasn't peaked and hundreds of thousands of people face imminent starvation and death without a massive global response. About 1,300 new refugees arrive each day in Dadaab camps in northeastern Kenya. The new influx are running away from a famine that is getting worse in southern Somalia as an al-Qaida-linked militants in the country barred some major aid groups from operating in its areas of control, worsening the situation of the most vulnerable people. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay) #

 August 12, 2011

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The shrouded body of 12-month-old Liin Muhumed Surow lays before burial at UNHCR's Ifo Extention camp outside Dadaab, Eastern Kenya, 100 km (60 miles) from the Somali border,Saturday Aug. 6, 2011. Liin died of malnutrition 25 days after reaching the camp, her father Mumumed said. The drought and famine in the horn of Africa has killed more than 29,000 children under the age of 5 in the last 90 days in southern Somalia alone, according to U.S. estimates. The U.N. says 640,000 Somali children are acutely malnourished, suggesting the death toll of small children will rise. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay) #

 August 12, 2011

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Muhumed Surow grieves following the burial of his 12-month-old daughter Liin Muhumed Surowlays at UNHCR's Ifo Extention camp outside Dadaab, Eastern Kenya, 100 km (60 miles) from the Somali border, Saturday Aug. 6, 2011. Liin died of malnutrition 25 days after reaching the camp, Mumumed said. The drought and famine in the horn of Africa has killed more than 29,000 children under the age of 5 in the last 90 days in southern Somalia alone, according to U.S. estimates. The U.N. says 640,000 Somali children are acutely malnourished, suggesting the death toll of small children will rise. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay) #

 August 12, 2011

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In this Monday, Aug. 8, 2011 photo, U.S. Army Pvt. 1st Class David Hedge from Bealeton, Va., front, and fellow soldiers from 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment are bathed in rotor wash moments after arriving by Blackhawk helicopter for an operation to disrupt weapons smuggling in Istaqlal, north of Baghdad, Iraq. A radical anti-American Shiite cleric is calling on U.S. troops in Iraq to leave the country and go back to their families or risk more attacks. The rare statement by Muqtada al-Sadr was translated into English and posted Tuesday on his website. In it, the powerful Iraqi cleric appeals directly to the roughly 46,000 U.S. troops still in the country. He says Iraq does not need their help.(AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo) #

 August 12, 2011

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An Ultra-orthodox Jewish man sleeps as others pray during the mourning ritual of Tisha B'Av at the Western Wall, the holiest site where Jews can pray, in Jerusalem's Old City, Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2011. The Jewish holy day of Tisha B'Av, when Jews mourn the destruction of the biblical temples, is marked Tuesday. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue) #

 August 12, 2011

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A Palestinian baby sleeps in his carrycot while Palestinian women attempt to pass the checkpoint on their way to pray at the Al Aqsa Mosque on the second Friday of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, in the West Bank town of Bethlehem, Aug. 12, 2011. Muslims around the world are observing the holy fasting month of Ramadan where they refrain from eating, drinking, smoking from dawn to dusk. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue) #

 August 12, 2011

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In this photo taken on a government-organized tour a woman holds up an image of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi during a protest in front of the Hungarian embassy in Tripoli, Libya, Thursday, Aug. 11, 2011. Dozens of reported residents of the town of Majar, where the Libyan government claims that 85 civilians were killed in a NATO airstrike last Aug. 9, protested in front of the Hungarian embassy which is currently representing the U.S and the European Union interests in Libya, to demand a stop to the NATO airstrikes. (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills) #

 August 12, 2011

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This image released by the District Governor of Spitsbergen's office shows the dead male polar bear which had attacked youths who were camping on a remote Arctic glacier as part of a high-end adventure holiday at Spitsbergen, Svalbard archipelago, in Norway, Friday, Aug. 5, 2011 . The polar bear was shot and killed by other members of the group. The attack took place on the Svalbard archipelago, which is home to about 2,400 people and 3,000 polar bears and one British youth was killed in the attack. (AP Photo / Arild Lyssand / District governor of Spitsbergens office / via Scanpix) NORWAY OUT #

 August 12, 2011

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Somalia Transitional Government soldiers prepare to take positions near Mogadishu, Somalia stadium Sunday Aug, 7, 2011, after a brief fight with Al Shabaab fighters. Islamist fighters withdrew Saturday from almost all their bases in the famine-struck Somali capital, the most significant gain for the embattled U.N.-backed government in four years. Commanders toured newly abandoned positions Saturday, including a former sports stadium where the militia's tire marks were fresh in the grass.(AP Photo/ Farah Abdi Warsameh). #

 August 12, 2011

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A jockey races along the beach during the traditional beach race on the Sanlucar de Barrameda's beach in southern Spain, on Aug. 10, 2011. Sanlucar horse racing dates back to 1845 and is one of the oldest in Europe; it currently takes place near the mouth of the Rio Guadalquivir several times during the month of August. (AP Photo/Miguel Gomez) #

 August 12, 2011

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Riot police block supporters of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko outside the Pecherskiy District Court in Kiev, Ukraine, Friday, Aug. 5, 2011. A court in the Ukrainian capital has arrested former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko for violations of procedure during her abuse-of-office trial. Tymoshenko, the country's top opposition leader, has criticized the trial as an attempt by President Viktor Yanukovych to bar her from elections. She has refused, as required, to stand up while addressing the judge, repeatedly insulted him and questioned his objectivity. Her supporters also have repeatedly disrupted hearings. (AP Photo/Sergey Svetlitsky) #

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The veterans project of Brooklyn-based photographer Jennifer Karady uses the narrative, set-up shots of art photography to address real people and events more typically treated by photojournalists. In 2004 she began reading about the profound effects of combat stress and eventually decided she wanted to make photos with veterans to stage their war stories. When she discovered that post-traumatic stress disorder was being successfully treated with virtual reality technology, with veterans re-enacting their “trigger” moments, she knew she had hit on a way to tell the veteran’s narratives.

Ms. Karady says: “I realized that making a photograph about one’s experience could potentially offer relief to veterans suffering from psychological trauma and that perhaps I could utilize my artistic practice to help people. The idea evolved as I realized that I needed to create a safe space in which veterans could re-enact their moment from war. Though this project is conceptually inspired by a therapeutic model, I am extremely aware that I am not a therapist, and I do not claim that the process is clinically therapeutic. However, the process can be helpful for the veteran in transforming an experience that may have had a negative effect on his or her life into a positive experience. Also, I’ve found that the act of telling one’s story publicly can be deeply empowering and validating.”

Ms. Karady’s photos are the culmination of months of interviews, preparation and planning. Her exhibition, “In Country: Soldiers’ Stories from Iraq and Afghanistan,” will be at the CEPA Gallery in Buffalo, N.Y. through Aug. 27. The show is already hanging but officially opens July 15 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. The text that follows is transcribed and edited from interviews conducted by Ms. Karady.

Former Specialist Shelby Webster, 24th Transportation Company, 541st Maintenance Battalion, U.S. Army, veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, with children, Riley, Dillin and Sidnie, brother Delshay, and uncle Derek; Omaha Nation Reservation, NE, October 2010

I was 20 years old when I joined the Army. I was a single mom and I had two babies that I left – a two- year-old and a three-year-old. When I found out that I was deploying, I remember crying on the phone to my dad, “I don’t want to go.” I didn’t join just to join. I joined the military thinking I would give my kids a better life.

I drove a PLS (palletized load system truck). We transported all sorts of supplies from Kuwait into Iraq when there was nothing there. Whatever they needed, we hauled. The funny thing about it is that we weren’t armored. We only had flak vests and our little M16s.
When we convoyed into Iraq for the first time, it was probably two o’clock in the morning. I remember being so tired and seeing explosions and thinking, “Wow, this is like the movies. This isn’t happening.” Then we started getting attacked. We had a big convoy of about 20 trucks. We stopped and my squad leader, Sergeant Jackson, jumped out and said, “Be ready, lock and load!” At that point I thought, “How am I going to shoot and drive?” I remember shaking and almost freezing up. And my TC (passenger and vehicle commander), Gabe, said, “It’s OK, Web. It’s OK. I’ve been through this already.” He was trying to reassure me because I was terrified. They had us line up all the trucks in four rows. Sergeant Jackson told us to get out of our trucks just in case. So we were in the sand, lying in the prone position just waiting. Then we hear gunfire and I remember thinking, “What am I going to do, I’m a girl.” I lay there crying to myself, “God, please, I don’t want to die. I want to go home to my kids.” I was so scared. It was so hard.

I’m Native American and I believe in my culture. I believe in my Omaha ways. I said a little prayer to myself asking God to protect me and to watch over my babies if something were to happen to me. This feeling came over me and, I don’t know if it was my subconscious or what, but I heard a voice that said, “It’s going to be alright.” I recognized that voice as my Grandpa Danny’s voice. I was 10 when he passed, but I remember him – he was a good grandpa and always protective. In this moment I also smelled cedar and we pray with cedar. When I smelled it, I took a deep breath and I smelled and smelled. I thought, “What the heck?” I looked around and asked Gabe, “Do you smell that?” He said, “No, I don’t smell nothing.” I could still see and hear tracer rounds and explosions and could feel the ground shake. But a feeling of calmness had come over me and I thought, “I can do this.” When I called home and told my Dad that I smelled cedar, he cried. He said, “Well, we’ve been praying for you. We’ve been having meetings for you.”

My Dad had my kids while I was gone. It seemed like during those two years I saw my kids probably one or two times. My kids are ten and eleven years old now and I had another baby after I got back. My youngest is now five years old and totally different compared to my older kids who have separation anxiety – they always have to know where I am. My youngest is more independent; she’s her own kind of person. But the older two are always looking for me, asking, “Where’s Mom?” And I say, “I’m right here.”

Shelby Webster works as a probation officer at the Omaha Tribal Court.

Former Satellite Communications Specialist Aaron Grehan, 11th Signal Brigade, U.S. Army, veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, with girlfriend, Neta, and mother, Judy; Peterborough, NH, May 2007

Four months into my tour of Iraq I got kidney stones because of all the calcium in the bottled water. I was airlifted to a place called LSA Dogwood, which is just outside Baghdad in the middle of the desert. It’s a pretty good-sized tent hospital. Now, the thing with this place is that there are no trees; there’s nothing out there. It was probably 120 degrees during the day—a good bit hotter than it was in downtown Baghdad. The tent next to mine housed all the burn victims, both U.S. troops and Iraqis. It was miserable. There were nothing but screams and moans coming from that tent.

I had an IV because they wanted me to pass the kidney stones, so every two hours I had to get up and go to the bathroom. I had to walk through the tent with all of the burn victims. There’s guys over there whose legs would be so blackened that it didn’t look like a leg, and there were little kids that you couldn’t even recognize as a human being. It was horrible. At that point I really started looking at the war differently. I saw how it affected people—the inhumane consequences. They couldn’t have stuck me next to a worse tent to have to walk through every day.

About six days into my hospital stay, there was a loud explosion. And then another one, and another one. Soon we’re all getting under our cots as if that’s going to protect us from some 3,000-pound hunk of metal coming in and exploding. The explosions are getting more frequent and more intense. You could hear commotion from all the tents; everybody’s yelling and screaming, commands are being shouted, confusion. People don’t know which command was coming from where. Sometimes the military can be so inefficient like that. Somebody came in and said, “We gotta get out of here!” Then someone else came in and said, “No, stay put!” Then another person came in and said, ”We’re getting transported out of here. Everyone get outside so we can get into vehicles!”

We headed outside and everybody’s out there in their hospital gowns, their asses are hanging out in the wind. Half of us had our own IV bags, just holding them up, and mine kept backing up so I could see this stream of blood going in. It sucked because it hurt. We’re outside and it’s 120 degrees and we look over and there’s this cloud of smoke a quarter of a mile away. Everyone is wondering what is going on, and finally word circulates that there’s an ammo dump over there. Real smart of the U.S. Army to store all of these munitions and explosives so close to a hospital. They had millions of pounds of IEDs, explosives, etc. It had gotten so hot out there that one of them exploded and it set everything else off, at this point everything from grenades to rockets, and the rockets had started going off, zipping around randomly. It was pretty insane.

We got word that there were no vehicles. There were probably over a thousand of us just sitting outside not knowing what to do. Then we were told to start walking in the opposite direction of the cloud of smoke. There was this mass exodus of people in hospital gowns holding their own IV bags walking through the desert. We walked almost two miles over open desert before they sent vehicles to pick us up.

Aaron Grehan is a psychedelic trance DJ and organizes electronic dance events in and around New England.

Former Staff Sergeant Andrew Davis, 75th Ranger Regiment, U.S. Army, veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, with wife, Jodie, and Iraq war veterans and friends Tom and Andy; Saratoga Springs, NY, October 2009

At the beginning of the war, my mortar section and a company of rangers were sent to Haditha. There is a hydroelectric dam about nine kilometers long on the Euphrates River that was rumored to be laced with explosives. If it blew, it would flood the Euphrates floodplain, keeping us out of Baghdad. It was supposed to be a two-hour mission, and we ended up in a thirteen-day firefight.

It was about day five when Jeremy, one of my mortar gun-leaders, was hit. It was the middle of the day and hot as hell. There was a wall on the front of the top of the dam and a wall in the back. We were on the backside, and we started making shelters to protect us from the harsh sun. We placed our rain ponchos on the wall of the dam, secured them with rocks and stretched them to the ground, creating a little tent. I told my soldiers constantly: “Don’t fucking stand up, you’re a silhouette, you’re on top of this dam, they can see everything you’re doing, right?” But since the artillery hadn’t hit anywhere close to us in a few days no one thought that anything was going to happen.

Jeremy and I were literally sharing a poncho, and one of the rocks holding it in place fell down. Jeremy stood up to fix it, we heard a whistle, and he was laid out. His eye was just kind of dangling and it was the craziest thing I’ve ever seen. I quickly called for the medic. In the meantime we stopped the bleeding as much as we could, put his eye in his head, and covered his head. The medic came down, and I started gathering my men to move once the medic took over. The last thing I remember was looking at Jeremy and seeing the medic, and he went like that [makes gesture of sliding hand across throat], and I just thought, “Holy f***, all these guys were best friends.” I wasn’t even worried about me anymore.

After that, I told my soldiers to get down to the water and clean the blood off their clothes. They had their buddy’s blood on them, and we weren’t getting new clothes anytime soon. You can’t be wandering around with your friend’s blood because it ruins morale. We started joking about it, making eyesight jokes, which sounds morbid to your average person, but it’s the only way to get through it. Looking back, things like that were just sick, but everyone laughed at the time. It gave new meaning to the fight; everyone got more careful. I always think about all of us sitting in a circle with our helmets and Kevlar on, and it was hot and there was blood everywhere, and just making jokes. It was so primitive and so sick but it was what helped get everybody back to normal.

I was an avid backpacker and camper before I went into the military. I was an Eagle Scout, I was always camping, and I won’t set foot under a tent now. When I think about it, I honestly don’t know if what happened on that dam is the reason, but I won’t anymore. My wife has probably asked me a hundred times to go camping. I don’t even like sleeping away from my base—I mean, my house.

While Andy Davis’ friend and colleague Jeremy survived his injuries, he is currently blind in both eyes and sustained some brain damage. Andy ran for the Minnesota House of Representatives in 2006 and narrowly lost the election. He is the cofounder of a nonprofit that assists student veterans on campus based at the University of Minnesota. Andy presently works for the New York State Division of Veterans’ Affairs in Albany, NY.

Former Staff Sergeant Starlyn Lara, C Detachment, 38th Personnel Services Battalion, 1st Infantry Division, U.S. Army, veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom; Treasure Island, San Francisco, CA, January 2010

We were in a convoy between my camp at Kirkush Military Training Base and Camp Anaconda in Balad, which is where everything happens—that’s the hub. At the time I was the FOO (field ordering officer) and I was responsible for all of the money that came in and out of the installation. I would convoy very frequently in order to transport money—like $100,000 in cash—under my vest.

I was in a Humvee, but our unit isn’t a tactical unit, so we didn’t have armored Humvees. What we had were Kevlar plates that lined the seats but not the vehicle. They were designed to keep you from dying but not designed to protect you. When the bomb went off, it actually shot pieces of the engine up. I was in the passenger seat. As soon as the vehicle exploded, my first thoughts were about the safety of the money. Then there was just all this blood, and I didn’t know where it was coming from. My ears were ringing from this huge concussion blast. I couldn’t hear, and my vision was blurred. And so many things were happening. I couldn’t make out the sounds around me—I was disoriented. I was looking…the windows were shattered and my arms were cut, I was bleeding, and I just couldn’t figure out where all of the blood was coming from. It seemed like forever but it probably took place in the blink of an eye.

There are many things that connect me back to that moment. It’s usually only when I can’t sleep or when I am sleeping. I had a really weird dream that I was chasing a pink rabbit. I was trying to catch the damn pink rabbit and it was huge. I think it’s funny—I’m laughing in the dream, going, “I can’t believe this pink bunny!” And then, the pink bunny runs into the street, and I’m wondering, “Why is the pink bunny in the street?” And I stop, and the pink bunny gets hit by my Humvee. I see myself in the vehicle and I realize that the pink bunny is the bomb. So sometimes my dreams aren’t necessarily reliving the experience. They’re some kind of distortion, how I find ways to cope with the things that really can’t be coped with. There’s really no easy way to get around them.

Starlyn Lara currently works as a human resources/accounts payable assistant at Swords to Plowshares, a nonprofit veterans organization that provides numerous services for veterans in need, and as a part-time emergency medical technician.

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I left Beirut midnight on Saturday and didn’t arrive to Helsinki until midday Sunday, so was way too tired to start doing blog updates yesterday. Besides, wanted to see some friends. But here is June’s fourth instalment of Photojournalism Links…

Features and Essays

Based on Facebook updates and hearing from friends it seems several photographers who were working in Libya in in March/April, are heading back there  this week…I wish them safe travels…looking forward to seeing their work….Feels like a second wave of coverage is coming…Rather fitting since International Criminal Court just issued an arrest warrant for Gaddafi..

Some of Moises Saman’s recent work from Tripoli on Magnum site… Includes black and white versions of some of the frames in last week’s NYT slideshow…

Moises Saman: NATO Campaign Against Gaddafi Regime (Magnum: June 2011)

Related to Libya conflict…

Alex Majoli: Dark Passage (Newsweek: June 2011) Arab Refugees Flow Into Europe

Ivor Prickett is one of the photographers heading back to Libya…Here is his beautiful Abkhazia work on Panos Pictures site, in case you missed it…

Ivor Prickett: Gali, Abkhazia – Left in Limbo (Panos: June 2011)

Finbarr O’Reilly: Shocking Clashes in Senegal (TIME: June 2011)

Sean Gallagher shot his first assignment for Newsweek…I’m sure there’ll be plenty more in the future…

Sean Gallagher: Next to the North Korean Border (Newsweek: June 2011)

Chad Ress: America Recovered (TIME LB: June 2011)

Danielle Levitt : The Kids are Alright: High Schoolers (TIME LB: June 2011)

Angelos Tzortzinis: Panic on the Streets of Athens (TIME LB: June 2011)

Conny Luhulima and Geert van Kesteren: Nunusaku (Foto8: June 2011)

Kacper Kowalski: Toxic Beauty (Panos: June 2011)

Leica released their M9-P… Alex Majoli did some work with the camera in Venice…

Alex Majoli: Venice (Leica-camera.com: June 2011)

Mishka Henner: In a Foreign Field (Panos: June 2011)

Dhruv Malhotra: Sleepers (TIME LB: June 2011)

Ashley Gilbertson: Ready to Eat (VII Mag: June 2011)

Susan Anderson: Beauty Speaks: Portraits of 31 Former Miss USA Pageant Queen (TIME LB: June 2011)

Heidi Warner: The Disappearance of the Borscht Belt Hotels (TIME LB: June 2011)

Maria Gruzdeva: Direction, Space! (Foto8: June 2011)

Interviews

Lynsey Addario (Marie Claire: June 2011)

Sebastian Meyer : Photographing Libya’s Violent Conflict (BBC: June 2011)

Lauren Greenfield (Stockland Martel blog: June 2011)

Was reading the National Geographic Magazine’s July issue during my travel yesterday…Great to see Addario’s Baghdad work in print, the one I was praising in last week’s post… The issue includes also some of Michael Christopher Brown’s Libya Hipstas..Empas.is did an interview with him…

Michael Christopher Brown : Going beyond the frontline: Michael C. Brown returns to Libya (Emphas.is: June 2011)

Todd Heisler : A Father’s Voice, Through Kodachrome (NYT Lens: June 2011)

Janine di Giovanni : ‘I believed I had escaped trauma… but I was not as unbroken as I thought’  (Guardian: June 2011) War correspondent Janine di Giovanni saw death and trauma on a scale unimaginable to most of us. She thought she was immune to fear. But, as her compelling memoir reveals, when she and her husband finally put war behind them to start a family, the past came back to shatter their lives…

Alex Majoli (Leica-camera.com: June 2011)

Sean Gallagher (1416.me: June 2011)

Ed Kashi (Youtube)

Karim Ben Khelifa (takepart.com: June 2011) ”The World is Changing, Change With It”

Laura El Tantawy (Sojournposse: June 2011)

Tim and Noah Hussin (Thedigitalnaturalist.com: June 2011) Tim and Noah Hussin about their documentary journey called America ReCycled

Andrew Burton (NYT Lens: June 2011)

Articles

NPPA: History Is Made: Press Photographer Covers Live Presidential Speech (NPPA: June 2011)

! BJP: Street photography subject of second Firecracker event (BJP: June 2011)

photo: Gona Aziz

TIME LB: Iraq Through Iraqi Eyes (TIME LB: June 2011)

TIME LB: Facing Change Collective and the Library of Congress to Cooperate (TIME LB: June 2011)

Bill Kramer: Real World Estimates – Magazine Contract (A Photo Editor: June 2011)

BJP: The future of photography? Kadir van Lohuizen’s launches an iPad app of his journey up the Pan-American Highway (BJP: June 2011)

David Campbell: Debating ‘Who’s afraid of home?’, and the importance of narrative (DC Blog: June 2011)

Jeremy Nicholl: “Jay Maisel Is A Dick”: Freetard Mob Savages Octogenarian Photographer Over Copyright (Photographer’s blog: June 2011)

Jeremy Nicholl: 10 Reasons This Isn’t The Greatest Photo Ever (Photographer’s blog: June 2011)

Leica camera: M9-P in Venice: The Making of (Vimeo) Magnum photographer Alex Majoli took the new Leica M9-P on a journey through Venice. Alex Majoli accompanied one of the around 700 gondolieri for several days and captured a sensitive portrait of the gondolier and his city. Here is a behind the scenes view of Alex’s journey through Venice.

Travel Photographers: Upgrade To The New Leica M9-P For Just $0.25 (TP: June 2011)

Guardian: Featured photojournalist: Luis Robayo (Guardian: June 2011) Luis Robayo is an Agence France-Presse photographer based in Colombia. In this set of photographs he documents Brother Hermes, an exorcist in the Valle del Cauca

Allthingsd.com: Meet the Stealthy Start-Up That Aims to Sharpen Focus of Entire Camera Industry (allthingsd.com: June 2011)

NYT: In Hours, Online Readers Identify Nazi Photographer (NYT: June 2011)

PDN: Benefiting from Portfolio Reviews: How To Stay In Touch (PDN: June 2011)

Telegraph: Photography Sites of the Week (Telegraph: June 2011)

Guardian Eyewitness: Andrew McConnell: Kinshasa strings (Guardian: June 2011) Photographs from the Guardian Eyewitness series

PhotoShelter Guide: The Photographer’s guide to selling like a pro (PS: June 2011)

Lisa Pritchard: Ask an Agent (LPA blog: June 2011)

Absolutely must see! Congratulations to Panos Pictures for their 25th anniversary!

Videos – Panos Pictures: Conversations in Photography: 25 years of Panos Pictures (Panos: June 2011)

Developing Pictures blog: Panos 25 Years (Developing pictures blog: June 2011)

Crowd funding – Erin Trieb : The Homecoming Project (Kickstarter)

PhotographersFabio Bucciarelli

ServicesMetro Print

AgenciesMagnum Photos AGM decisions from BJP

EventsFoto8 Summershow 2011 Launch Party : 8 July : London : £10/£15

Awards

Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize : Deadline 7 July

photo: Alex Masi

Getty Images announces Grants for Good winners (BJP: June 2011) Photographers Alex Masi and Gwenn Dubourthoumieu have won this year’s Grants for Good, which will see them receive $15,000 each for the production of new imagery to support non-profit organisations of their choosing | Same from PDN

The France 24-RFI Web Documentary Award (BJP: June 2011)

Jing Huang – winner of the Leica Oskar Barnack Newcomer Award for his portfolio ‘Pure of Sight’

TwitterKevin van Paassen

TwitterDEVELOP Photo

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Hello from Lebanon again…Starting my last week here tomorrow, before heading to Finland for a bit…

This week’s updates…

Features and Essays

From National Geographic Magazine July issue…

Breathtaking work by Lynsey Addario…

Lynsey Addario: Baghdad After the Storm (NGM: July 2011)

Quite surprised to see Hipstas in NGM…I would have thought NatGeo editors too conservative for such thing…

Michael Christopher Brown: Young, Angry, and Wired (NGM: July 2011) Middle East Youth Rising

Really liked these Bleasdale frames….

Marcus Bleasdale: China – The Internet Revolution (VII: June 2011)

Magnum photographers Antoine D’Agata, Moises Saman, and Ian Berry for the UNHCR… via @wemarijnissen

photo: Moises Saman

The dedicated UNHCR website…

UNHCR: 60 Years 60 Lives (UNHCR: June 2011)

or alternatively, you can see 30 frames on the Magnum Photos site here.

Stephanie Sinclair’s recent work from NYT Mag now on VII website…

Stephanie Sinclair: Tatiana and Krista’s Special Connection (VII: June 2011)

Stephanie Sinclair: Too Young To Wed (Pulitzer Center: June 2011)

David Goldman: Children of the Fallen (YouTube: June 2011)

Jim Goldberg: Portraits from Bonnaroo (TIME LB: June 2011)

Brooks Kraft: New Hampshire (TIME LB: June 2011)

Heidi Levine: Inside Hamas (Globe and Mail: June 2011)

Just saw Christopher Morris’ photos from Pope John Paul’s beatification in Rome last month…Some frames made me think of Paolo Pellegrin’s photos of people morning the pope’s death six years ago…Almost like a bookend to Pellegrin’s series…whether it’s just because both are of Pope John Paul and in black and white, I don’t know…Have a look side by side.

Morris’ has a video of this as well, but apparently it cannot be shown before music license has been sorted out…Looking forward to seeing it as I’m a big fan of his Dear Leader and the two Obama short films…

Christopher Morris: Beatification of Pope John Paul (Photographer’s website: 2011)

Jean Gaumy: Nuclear Deterrence : Inside the French Nuclear Submarine (Magnum Photos: June 2011)

Espen Rasmussen: In Transit (WSJ: June 2011)

Jason Eskenazi: East-West Divide (NYT Lens: June 2011)

Irina Werning: Argentina (NPR: June 2011)

Matt Black: Modern Agonies in Ancient Mexican Villages (NYT Lens: June 2011)

Father’s Day  in some parts of the world today..UK and US at least I think…

Worth posting Chris Anderson’s Son from Lens blog a couple of weeks ago again…

Christopher Anderson: Son (NYT Lens: June 2011)

Also…

Lauren Fleishman: A Father’s Burden: Living with ALS (TIME LB: June 2011)

Natalie Naccache: Single Fathers (Photographer’s website: June 2011)

Libya  and related…

Pic of the week…

An armed female supporter of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi chanted pro-government slogans at a demonstration on Friday in Tripoli’s central Green Square. / Moises Saman for The New York Times

Etienne de Malglaive: Misrata (Photographer’s website: June 2011)

Ivan LaBianca: Libya (Photographer’s website: June 2011)

Tomasz Szustek: Unwanted Refugees (Photographer’s website: June 2011) Refugees in Tunisian-Libyan border

Articles

Two really good articles from the Guardian website…

Guardian: The shot that nearly killed me: War photographers (Guardian: June 2011)

Guardian:  The artists’ artist: reportage photographers (Guardian: June 2011) Leading snappers choose their favourite living reportage photographer

David Campbell on photojournalists preferring to work abroad…And he had done his analysis partly by looking at features and essays i’ve covered here on Photojournalism Links….

David Campbell: Who’s Afraid of Home? Photojournalism’s Foreign Fixation (DC blog: June 2011)

Blast from the past, but saw some people share this online this week… so I’ll post this again too…

“Embrace frustration. It pushes you to learn and grow, broadens your horizons, and lights a fire under you when your work has gone cold. Nothing is more dangerous to an artist than complacency” – Cheryl Jacobs Nicolai

Cheryl Jacobs Nicolai: Advice for Aspiring Photographers (JPG Mag: from 2008)

Lynsey Addario: Backseat Driving in Saudi Arabia (TIME LB: June 2011)

Guardian: Album of the years: can photo albums survive the digital age?  (Guardian: June 2011) An evocative survey of photo albums captures the history of American photography – and asks whether we’ll ever impose order on our sprawling digital collections

Guardian: Featured Photojournalist: Tomas Bravo (Guardian: June 2011)

TIME: Doctored Photos – The Art of the Altered Image (TIME LB: June 2011)

NPR: Behind the Scenes of Irina Werning’s Back to the Future (NPR: June 2011)

Interviews and Talks 

Sally Mann and Nan Goldin (Look3: June 2011)

Bruce Gilden (YouTube: June 2011)

Tyler Hicks : College of Communication Convocation  (Youtube: June 2011)

Leo Maguire : British photographer secures More4 documentary funding (BJP: June 2011)

Taryn Simon (Youtube: 2011)

Awards and Grants 

Congratulations to Jan Grarup for winning the Oskar Barnack Award… Leica blog interviewed him..

Jan Grarup win Oskar Barnack Award 2011 (Leica blog: June 2011)

Ian Parry Scholarship Calling for Entries : Deadline 30 June 

Terry O’Neill Award now open for entries

Both of the above two were won by Sebastian Liste last year…

Photocrati Fund Winner and Top Finalists (Photocrati: June 2011)

Vanessa Winship wins Henri Cartier-Bresson Award (BJP: June 2011)

Delhi Photo Festival is calling for submission : Deadline 15 July

Life.com’s 2011 Photo Blog award 

Agencies

Panos has added six new members to their roster… including Ivor Prickett and Guy Martin…

BJP: Panos Pictures adds six new members (BJP: June 2011)

VII Newsletter June 2011

Noor Newletter June 2011

Noor : Call for Submission : Deadline August 5

AppsKadir van Lohuizen’s ViaPanAm now released

BlogsKael Alford

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