an artist’s take: Baghdad Journal

Beneath the hard October sun recalcitrant Baghdad throws up a fistful of dust, so fine the soldiers call it moon dust. It hovers, despite the breeze, mixing with diesel fumes, wreathing this sprawling, dyspeptic city. Gleaming through the bright smog is a giant blimp, used by 1st Cav 1-9 to gather intelligence. It’s tethered to 1-9’s base, swinging gently, high above the city.

I often imagined the view from up there, especially on one afternoon in mid October when I found myself running across Tala’a Square with 3rd Platoon just after a young soldier had been killed by a sniper. We’d look as urgent as ants, rushing to repair a tunnel. Just another day in Baghdad’s Haifa Street neighborhood.

So begins the December installment of Baghdad Journal by Steve Mumford, a New York painter embedded with military units in Iraq hot spots like Baquba, Tikrit, and Baghdad. His journal entries contain paintings and sketches illustrating the people—both soldiers and Iraqi civilians—mentioned in the dispatch.copyright 2004 by Steve Mumford.
click image to enlarge

He work runs in artnet because, according to an article in the New York Times, that is the only organization that would provide Mumford a press pass so he could cover Iraq as an embedded journalist.

Mumford is a good writer as well as a fine illustrator; his narratives and sketches tell stories in a way that feels more real and honest to me than the bits and pieces fed to us in the mainstream media—if there is any coverage there at all.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/16/04 at 09:55 AM
Commenting is not available in this weblog entry.

Next entry: Neah Bay and the Makah Nation

Previous entry: flakes

<< Back to main