War photographers share ‘untold stories from Iraq’

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A new book presents eye witness accounts from photojournalists covering the Iraq war in an anthology of stories, individuals and acts of heroism that didn’t make headlines.

In “Photojournalists on War: The Untold Stories from Iraq” photographer and writer Michael Kamber interviews 38 colleagues, including Patrick Baz of Agence France-Presse and the late Chris Hondros who was killed in Libya in 2011.

Anne Wilkes Tucker, curator at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, said that until the book was produced few published interviews existed that “offer an extended view of the craft of conflict photography.”

“The interviews in ‘Photojournalists on War’ give the experience a full voice, and I know of no other comparable collection for any-post Vietnam conflict... nothing approaches the depth of Kamber’s book,” she said.

Published by the University of Texas Press, the book was presented in New York on Wednesday in the presence of the author and several contributors.

“Photographers are storytellers: most love to talk,” Kamber writes. “As a group, I believe we saw more of the war -- more of the actual ground war -- than any group of civilian observers, save for the Iraqis, of course.”

Contributors include photojournalists working for the Associated Press, the Guardian, the Los Angeles Times, Paris Match, Reuters and Time.

In-depth interviews give first-person accounts of events from the long conflict that began with the 2003 U.S.-led invasion such as the toppling of former dictator Saddam Hussein’s statue and the battle for Fallujah.

They also touch on issues of censorship and the role of the media, as well as what journalists sometimes have to go through to capture images of conflict or human stories amid the chaos.

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