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Battlespace - Unrealities of war

Photographs from Iraq and Afghanistan

From 5th October to 1st November

Logis du Gouverneur - 10, rue Bourbesneur - Open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. - Free entry

Battlespace presents an unsanitised view of the continuing conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan to a public that has been shielded from disturbing or nuanced images of war. Battlespace questions the perceptions, agendas, and narratives of the military and the media and attempts to offer an unfiltered account from a group of photographers who saw it firsthand: Peter van Agtmael, Christoph Bangert, Guy Calaf, Andrew Cutraro, Danfung Dennis, Balazs Gardi, Ashley Gilbertson, Teru Kuwayama, Rita Leistner, Zoriah Miller, Lucian Read, Luke Wolagiewicz, Stefan Zaklin, et Yuri Kozyrev.

Counter insurgency theory, once again fashionable, holds that the prize of modern warfare is not the territory but the minds of the population within. The battlespace is not solely defined by map lines or grid squares, but also in the areas of perception and illusion. In this shifting, human terrain, there are no facts or truths, only competing agendas. Messages are shaped and transmitted, from bunkered press officers in Baghdad and Bagram to journalists who report from behind blastwalls and cubicle partitions. Unpleasant, complex, or off-message images are filtered by both sides, and war stories are recycled through the echo chamber. These photographs were made in Afghanistan and Iraq, but they depict neither country. They are glimpses of an alternate reality built upon them. The images do not provide a comprehensive account of these wars, or an understanding of these nations or their peoples. They are fragments, seen in off-moments behind the walls of concrete superbases—or outside them, through nightvision goggles and ballistic eye shields.

With the support of Amnesty International.