Photo exhibit restores dignity to victims of U.S. torture

The Intercept: The U.S. military used a camera as a torture device at Abu Grahib. To add further humiliation to detainees who were already put in cages, urinated on, stripped naked then stacked in macabre human pyramids, their photos were taken during these degrading acts. “I wanted to use the camera to restore these peoples’ humanity through beautiful portraiture,” says photographer Chris Bartlett, whose exhibition, “Iraqi Detainees: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Ordeals,” opens tonight in New York.

When confronted with images of torture, Bartlett says, even the greatest liberal or humanist among us has the tendency to flinch and look away. “It’s such a disturbing and disgusting issue that people want to turn off from it.” Bartlett, who often works in high fashion photography, shooting subjects like candy colored Tory Burch handbags, said he wanted to take “very kind, respectful, beautiful, portraits to draw people into the subject and learn more about their stories.” [Continue reading and view a selection of the portraits…]

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1 thought on “Photo exhibit restores dignity to victims of U.S. torture

  1. BillVZ

    A emotional move piece, thanks Paul1

    Ordinary people –of different color, of another country, religious affiliation, being in the wrong place at the wrong time: . ‘I asked why they are doing this, so they hit me ‘; we are doing what the interrogators want. They want us to make your life very difficult so you will answer the questions.’

    We are all ordinary people-making it something that could happen to us. The world leaders, with their military and ever present authoritarian police/ protectors of the peace are ordinary people also- much to their delusion.

    We would be wise to see and accept our ordinariness, that we have no place, no lasting importance; that we are all dispensable. Then, as one learned person suggests, ‘we can begin to live in peace and happiness’.

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