Beyond Bullets: A Photo Journal of Afganistan

by Rafal Gerszak

The complexity of photojournalist Rafal Gerszak’s feelings about Afghanistan... read more

The complexity of photojournalist Rafal Gerszak’s feelings about Afghanistan is connected to his experiences there among both soldiers and Afghan civilians. A year spent imbedded with an infantry platoon showed Gerszak the Afghan war from a military perspective. He was among soldiers facing tense, sometimes life-threatening situations, whether the Humvee in which they were riding was under fire from Taliban soldiers, or the platoon was raiding houses suspected to be hiding insurgents. He saw medical personnel doing their best to help anyone in need of aide, whether soldier, Taliban, or civilian. After a brief respite, Gerszak returned to Afghanistan, wanting to spend time among the Afghan people. There he experienced the war—and the country—from a different perspective, seeing people trying to live their lives in spite of the war, or whose lives have been cruelly disrupted because of it. “In spite of everything, Afghans stay strong and hopeful. And as long as they have stories they want to tell, I’ll keep going back.” Sidebars provide additional information on elements of Afghan culture, politics, and the conflicts raging there. (Age 11 and older)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2012

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