Benjamin Lowy reception | Duke Campus: Perkins Library | Arts | Indy Week
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Photo by Benjamin Lowy


Benjamin Lowy reception 

When: Thu., Nov. 10, 5:30-7:30 p.m. 2011
Nearly a decade after millions around the world demonstrated against the war, the conflict is a brute, immutable fact of life. Concurrently, there has been a steady stream of images—up-armored soldiers, dusty towns, squat and ugly buildings, terrorized locals. The war in Iraq has gone on so long, in fact, that a new generation of shooters has made its bones there. When we went to war against Iraq, Benjamin Lowy had just received his BFA from Washington University, and he began his career as a conflict photographer with an assignment embedded with the 101st Airborne Division.

Earlier this year, Durham's Center for Documentary Studies honored the work he produced in Iraq with the biennial CDS/ Honickman First Book Prize in Photography. Renowned photographer William Eggleston selected Lowy's work from more than 200 entrants, and Lowy's prize is getting his first book published by Duke University Press.

Lowy's photos are unmistakably scenes from Iraq—ruined buildings, street vendors, kids with missing limbs, billboards for newly minted cellphone services. In Lowy's images, we see daily life returning to this country, but the children shown have known little but this forlorn landscape. Dreariness is all. The most original component of Lowy's book is the thematic divisions. The first part consists of images captured through the windows of military Humvees, while the second part consists entirely of green night-vision images and yields the most intimate moments, including Iraqi civilians being intimidatd and detained in what appear to be their own homes.

Lowy's photos have already been on view at CDS (through Dec. 11), and he will be present today at Perkins Library for a launch party for Iraq/ Perspectives. The reception runs from 5:30–7:30 and is free and open to the public. —David Fellerath

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