Afghanistan in 4 Frames: 4 Embedded Photojournalists Take Aim at the War


Public Reception: Wednesday, February 9, 5:30 – 7:30pm
Exhibition Dates:
February 9 – May 13, 2011
Ground Floor of City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Pl.
Viewing Hours: Monday – Friday, 8am – 8pm, Free

Check out recent press about the show and individual artists HERE.

The San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery’s Art at City Hall is pleased to present Afghanistan in Four Frames. This groundbreaking and timely exhibition features works by four photojournalists who have embedded with various military units/forces in Afghanistan over the past five years.

In early 2010 James Lee, a San Francisco based photographer/ writer and Marine Corps veteran, traveled alongside Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) near the border of Pakistan. His resulting photo essay, Counter-Narratives, sensitively depicts the human costs of protracted conflict and a ground-level perspective of ANSF operations far from any US military presence. Another Bay Area photojournalist, Eros Hoagland, has embedded with US troops several times, and twice with a British unit. His high contrast black and white photographs in Siege Perilous distinctly portray the stark tension between the western military presence and the local landscape and the people of Afghanistan in the Korengal Valley and Helmand Province. In Women at War, Pulitzer Prize winning photographer Lynsey Addario, based in Delhi, depicts what life is like for female US military personnel deployed to Afghanistan. Her essay illustrates women soldiers training and patrolling just like their male counterpoints, but due to religious customs, the women also perform duties that put them in the unique position of direct contact with civilian women and children. New York based Teru Kuwayama has been shooting in Afghanistan and its surrounding areas for nine years, both embedded with the US military and on his own. Using his low-tech Holga and Leica film cameras, Teru has remained focused on telling both the story of the war, and the lives it affects – both civilian and military. His images have a timeless, dreamlike quality; an aesthetic that distances the viewer from a typically crisp photojournalistic perspective, instead providing an intimate, emotional, and perhaps poetic view of the devastating effects of war.

Artist's Bios:

Based in San Francisco, James Lee has carried cameras while conducting research in the Middle East and South Asia. He is a graduate student of the Department of International Relations at San Francisco State University and a US Marine Corps Veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom. His field work focuses on guerrilla warfare, mobile cellular technology and computer mediated practices of representation. His photographs of Afghanistan have also been featured on and exhibited at The Museum of Ventura County.  Click here for more images and info about the artist.

Lynsey Addario is an American photojournalist based in New Delhi, India, where she photographs for The New York Times, National Geographic, and Time Magazine. Lynsey began photographing professionally in 1996 with no professional photographic training or studies, and started photographing conflict and humanitarian issues in 2000, when she traveled to Afghanistan under Taliban rule to document life and oppression under the Taliban. She has since covered conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Darfur, and Congo, and shoots features across the Middle East, South Asia, and Africa. Lynsey has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the MacArthur Fellowship, or 'Genius Grant' 2009; she was part of the NYT team to win the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting, for her photographs in Talibanistan, Sept 7, 2008.  In 2010 Lynsey was named one of 20 women on Oprah Winfrey's Power List, 2010, for her photoessay Power of Bearing Witness. Addario won the Getty Images Grant for Editorial photography in 2008 for her work in Darfur, where she photographed for six consecutive years. Click here for more images and info about the artist.

Eros Hoagland,  a Bay Area based photojournalist, began working in 1993 covering the aftermath of El Salvador's civil war. He has since worked in countries stained by violence and unrest across the globe including Iraq, Haiti, Eritrea and Colombia. As well as documenting the political climate and social impact of conflict, Eros looks for an emotional narrative when approaching reportage projects. He also works on travel, and adventure sport stories as well as business and lifestyle pieces. His regularly shoots for the New York Times, and his work has appeared in Time, Newsweek, Frontline, Fortune, Forbes, People and Esquire among others. Click here for more images and info about the artist.

Teru Kuwayama is a photographer who has spent most of the past decade reporting on conflict and humanitarian crisis. He has reported in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kashmir and Iraq - traveling both independently and as an embedded reporter with military forces. His photographs have appeared in publications including Time, Newsweek, Outside and National Geographic. Kuwayama is the co-founder of, a Web-based network of media, military, aid and development personnel serving more than 40,000 members. In 2010 he was a John S. Knight Fellow at Stanford University, and as a result has developed the revolutionary web reporting initiative Basetrack, linking Marines with life at home through multi-media interaction and broad-based participation. Click here for more images and info about the artist.

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