Not So Far Away
I remember when I was 13 or 14, my father was trying to explain to me what happened in Iraq. A war flamed by United States and cost a lot of innocent civilians lives. Some might call it a tragedy, others prefer the term ‘freedom from terrorism’, but for me Iraq seemed so far away that day.
I didn’t care about who started the feud whatsoever, as long as it didn’t happen here, it’s fine.
Such ignorance followed my steps to my first senior high school years. Freshman. We were all wrapped up in our uniforms when the teacher came in and told us a story or two about, once again, the Iraq War.
I bravely admit that I slept through that class smoothly. Back then, I was focusing all my strength to join the highly qualified science class. Trivia here: I am in my final year in high school, and regret being a science student (aka Indonesian science class means…you are a smart student. That simple.)
Years later and I am 17, I was looking for some materials for my two years old blog (this blog), when suddenly the name Michael Kamber showed up. It was all of a sudden and I couldn’t resist the jolt of curiosity, which was happening inside my head.
Hell, I was looking at that day.
Photos of his travel to Iraq (Photojournalists on War: The Untold Stories from Iraq) have opened my naive eyes to the real reality. It didn’t happen right outside my home or my school or any place that I call ‘home’, but nevertheless, it happened.
This is the first time art teaches me something valuable right on the face. Now, I feel a little bit left out, shaken, and couldn’t believe the harsh reality which happening around the world (which shows me how naive I was.)
You know what? It’s funny when people think war cannot be described with just photos. Taking a few photos during a war may sound annoying and unnecessary; why don’t we just use all the money for medics? Or more weapons? Everything, but silly stupid photographers with no combat experience INSIDE the war zone.
But those photographers are actually making relics of what we have done to the world. The soldiers may not know the real value of the photographs, because they already know how it feels to be in a war, but those photos speak a lot to others who live miles and miles away from the war.
Those photos are tiny little pieces of a sad memoir that opens our eyes… sooner or later.
Images taken from Vanity Fair (ALL the images belong to Michael Kamber’s Photojournalists on War: The Untold Stories from Iraq.)
Edited by Gimme Good Style.