The media about Iraq focuses exclusively on men with rifles in pickup trucks and bomb blasts. But when you turn the camera just a few degrees away from these images, you can see that life goes on despite the violence and the presence of foreign troops.
Baghdadis have a startling vitality, as we noticed when we went to the theater and the audience wouldn’t stop cheering and clapping—although the show had yet to begin. Despite the sectarian violence of recent years, people wanted us to photograph them. “Show people in the West the other side,” they would say. “Show them Baghdad is more than the daily violence”.
Because we only see attacks and militia, it is difficult for us to identify with the ordinary citizens from Baghdad. Yet daily life must go on. “We have wasted too much time in our lives, we want to live again.” Or in the words of Khduer, the fat boy with just one hand: “As long as you don’t give up, there is life.” The pictures show a much neglected side of Baghdad—they show a remarkable, inspiring resilience.
For more on this project, visit Daily Life in Baghdad.