Photographs by Iraqi Civilians

Published on 02/14/ 2023

The following pages contain the first community arts initiative completed by our organization. One of the goals of Daylight Community Arts Foundation is to put cameras in the hands of individuals and communities, allowing them the opportunity to document themselves. Clearly, there is no lack of imagery coming from Iraq, the photographs and video pour in every day - even soldiers have digital cameras with which to document their experience. But what of the people who live there? How are they affected by the war? What would they tell us through their own documentation? In an attempt to answer these questions ten people were given disposable cameras, shown the first issue of Daylight Magazine (to offer visual context), and told: “This is an opportunity to show the American public what you want them to see.”

The resulting images depict scenes of everyday life in Iraq. These lives have become increasingly entwined with ours, as well as our government policy, here in the United States. Sadiq and his family live in a garbage dump. His daughter, born the day U.S. troops entered Baghdad, is named Americas. Representing hope and freedom, how much longer will this name have relevancy to members of Sadiq’s community?
Hamed Hasan Salman: "Hamed’s family smiles for the camera"
Mustfa Ahmad Yaseen: "Mustfa’s local barber shop. Depicted are owner Haider Salim Abed and friend Tammim Salim Hussain"