While the War in Vietnam may have been the first global military action that Americans saw on their TV screens, and the 1991 Gulf War the first to be broadcast live on the 24 hour CNN news cycle, the 2003 War in Iraq was the first to appear in the e-mail Inbox, front and center on the smart phone, in the browser, on the laptop, on the PC. Every soldier in Iraq with a cell was a photographer-in-wait; every image snapped had the potential to change the war, and in that way to change the world. (Note the infamous photos from Abu Ghraib, which are way too rough to link-here.) There are some notable photo collections, also too potentially harsh to link directly though well worth finding on your own, if you want to talk with your children about the War, such as Military Times’ “Line of Sight” photo blog and the breathtaking, often terrifying image collection on the Denver Post website called “On War: Seven Years of War in Iraq.”
Finding photos of daily life in Iraq beyond the military conflict requires a bit of digging, but
when you unearth Ghassan Malik’s photoblogs, either on his blog on Aminus3.com or on his WordPress.com site, you’ll see Iraq as you never will on the TV news–men at a cafe,
smiling children in an alley, a small girl selling a bike. (See Ghassan himself here.) Photographer Amanda Bruce may not be Iraqi, but she documented many aspects of Iraqi daily life, both with images and text, in her 2008 Washington Post photoblog called “The Unseen Iraq.” The now-defunct videoblog Alive in Baghdad employed Iraqi journalists to document life in Iraq from 2007 until 2009, contrasting the bomb-chasing media by featuring refreshingly non-sensationalistic videos on topics important to Iraqis such as the BATTLE…to find reliable electricity and an EXPLOSION….in the number of pastry shops.