Friday, September 07, 2007

Preview: Photos of wounded Iraq vets show ongoing debilitation

Preview: Photos of wounded Iraq vets show ongoing debilitation
Friday, September 07, 2007
By Mary Thomas, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Spc. Sam Ross, 21, of Dunbar, Fayette County, was blinded and made an amputee when a bomb blew up during a munitions disposal operation in 2003.
Images of the Iraq war shown in the media early on didn't ring true to Nina Berman, an award-winning documentary photographer. "The coverage seemed very unrealistic to me," she explained by telephone Tuesday from New York.
One of the viewpoints missing was that of the badly wounded soldiers whose experiences and losses were such an essential part of the war, she says. So in 2003 Berman entered the world of veterans, and their families, who were adjusting to civilian life while coping with serious physical and/or mental disability.
Berman will be here today for the opening of an exhibition of 12 of her penetrating photographs, "Purple Hearts," at Pittsburgh Filmmakers Galleries in North Oakland.
One of the things that distinguishes her photographs is their home setting. They could almost be candid snapshots, like any of the other thousands taken daily around the world, except for the disfiguring scar, the distant stare, that separates, and now defines, these individuals.



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