project originated in Israel and the Occupied Territories in 1986,
just prior to the first intifada. I met Israeli veterans who inspired
me to document their lives after war: the rehabilitation process,
the effect their experiences had on their personal relationships
and their changing views of the conflicts in which they had fought.
In these former soldiers' experiences I heard echoes of the experiences
of Vietnam veterans from the United States. Their reception at home
was radically different, yet their alienation, nightmares and pain
seemed strikingly similar. It is this shared experience “after
war” that I wanted to capture.
In 1989, with support from Life
, I traveled to Vietnam
and Cambodia to photograph ex-combatants from different sides of
the region's conflicts. Thus began a fifteen-year journey seeking
out veterans' stories. My photographs depict the war that rages
on after the combat ends. These men, women, and children have walked
the fields and survived. They have emerged with new ideologies,
conflicts, questions, and emotions–they have the special knowledge
of the killer, the hero, the defeated. AFTERWAR
is a meditation
on war after the fighting has ended, illuminating the legacy and
cost of conflict.
AFTERWAR: Veterans from a World in Conflict
, was published
in 2005 by de.MO. An exhibition of the photographs is now touring
(for the exhibitions list please see my CV).
For information about the traveling exhibition please contact: email@example.com
or call Jeffrey Smith in New York at 1-212-695-7750.