Iraq From Within

Published on 02/20/ 2023

Featured in CNN

Twenty years ago, Daylight sent a box of disposable cameras to Iraq which were distributed to everyday people in Baghdad and Fallujah. The resulting photographs were published in Daylight Magazine Issue #2 and, in conjunction with Pixel Press, exhibited as part of a traveling exhibition 'Photographs by Iraqi Civilians'. 

This exhibit is now part of the Archive of Documentary Arts at Duke University. Among other venues it was shown at the Council on Foreign Relations, Center for Photography at Woodstock, Michigan University, Central Michigan University, Union College, and New York University.

As the 20th anniversary of the Iraq war approaches, Daylight Community Arts Foundation has sent another batch of cameras to be distributed in Baghdad, Fallujah and Mosul. As before, participants were asked to photograph their lives and show the American public what they would like them to see.

Iraq From Within on the 

 20th Anniversary of the Iraq War

In anticipation of the 20th anniversary of the Iraq War, Daylight Community Arts Foundation sent a box of disposable cameras to be distributed in Iraq as a follow up to the original initiative. With the help of local photographers and fixers on the ground, these cameras were handed out in Baghdad, Fallujah and Mosul.

The photographs from this round of camera distribution were remarkably unremarkable. But these casual vernacular images, of street scenes, markets, shop stalls and reconstruction belie the difficulties Iraqi society has faced over the last two decades. As some of the photographs demonstrate, the country is still very much in the process of rebuilding both physically and on a deeper, emotional level as communities seek to heal from the scars of the past.

This iteration of the Iraqi Civilian project could not have been completed without the support of Fred Ritchen, Jane Yeomans, Emily Garthwaite, the participating photographers and our fabulous fixers, Sangar Khaleel and Awad Al-Taei.

Baghdad, Salam Karim

Baghdad, Mohammed Ali Ismaeel 

Baghdad, Tariq Raheem 

Baghdad-Kadhimiyah, Wissam Hikmet

Fallujah, Omer Nawfel 

Mosul, Ahmad Faisal

Mosul, Yassir Koyani

View the CNN story here