June 28, 2008
War Is Personal
“War all comes down to these little tiny stories about people’s lives that will never be the same.”
— Eugene Richards
Looking back, I’m certain the depiction of trauma and loss suffered by Iraq veterans, as documented by so many fine photographers, will be recognized as playing a critical role in galvanizing the American public against an otherwise fundamentally sanitized war.
At BAGnewsNotes, I’ve looked at many difficult images over the past few years, including Todd Heisler’s essay, “Final Salute“; “Nina Berman’s “Marine Wedding” photograph of Ty Ziegel and Renee Kline — since divorced; Andrew Lichtenstein’s photo of a funeral rehearsal in Modesto; and the haunting image by Barry Gutierrez just last week of Sgt. Ryan John Baum with his daughter, Leia, on his chest.
The photo above was taken by Eugene Richards as part of a series he is developing with The Nation Institute. Sgt. José Pequeño suffered a devastating brain injury from a grenade tossed into his Humvee in March 2006.
In his mother’s arms, I hardly recall a more visceral sensation of the senselessness of the Iraq campaign. Given the angle, Pequeno’s brain injury draws an unavoidable analogy between war and the capacity for thought. Ultimately, there is no rationalizing or comparing one devastating form of injury with another. In Sgt. Pequeno’s case, however, the war has literally caused him to lose his mind.
War Is Personal: Sgt. José Pequeño (thenation.com)
Eugene Richards On “War is Personal” (Photo District News)
Jose Pequeno (Caring Bridge)
A New Home for Chief Pequeno (4/60 New Hampshire Public Radio)
(h/t: John. image: Eugene Richards)
Originals Archive Archives
March 16, 2016
Brian Palmer: All Our Sorrows Heal
February 16, 2016
From a New Hampshire Primary Photography Workshop
February 8, 2016
From an Iowa Caucus Photography Workshop
October 21, 2015
Sarah Stacke: Picturing Family in Manenberg
April 1, 2015
Sarah Stacke: Proof of Existence in Manenberg
March 11, 2015
Light Over Time: Picturing Appalachia — by Roger May