Photographing the U.S. Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq: American War Photographer Ben Brody in Conversation with Oksana Sarkisova

Venue: Auditorium, CEU Vienna Campus, Quellenstr. 51

A public event in the framework of the workshop “Embedded: The Military as a Patron of the Arts” organized by Mischa Gabowitsch with funding from the Austrian Science Fund (FWF), grant no. M-3377. In cooperation with the Visual Studies Platform at the Central European University.

From 2003 to 2008, Ben Brody photographed the Iraq war as a soldier assigned to make visual propaganda for the U.S. military. When he left the army, he went to Afghanistan on his own as a civilian to continue his work on his own terms. The most complete result of nearly twenty years of covering the so-called Global War on Terror are his two books, Attention Servicemember (2019) and 300m (2022).

The books are not only focused on America's fantasy of its own power, but also the ways in which the contemporary chroniclers of the war are often co-opted into a modality of self-censorship, whether they are journalists, artists, filmmakers, or soldiers.

In conversation with Oksana Sarkisova, Ben Brody will reflect on his work and his experience as both an embedded photographer and an outsider documenting U.S. military engagements abroad. The event will be followed by a reception.

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Ben Brody is the Director of Photography for The GroundTruth Project and Report for America, and a co-founder of Mass Books.

Oksana Sarkisova is the head of the executive committee of the Visual Theory and Practice advanced certificate program and the Visual Studies Platform at CEU. Her most recent book is In Visible Presence: Soviet Afterlives in Family Photos, co-authored with Olga Shevchenko.