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Beyond Bullets: A Photo Journal of…

Beyond Bullets: A Photo Journal of Afganistan

by Rafal Gerszak

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A photojournalist first embeds with the military to record what is happening in Afghanistan and later returns to discover and understand the story of the Afghan people, their day-to-day lives, and the challenges they face in a long war-torn country. A very personal account that I see serving as an introduction for young people to learn about a newsmaking country, or to supplement other books about Afghanistan. ( )
  Salsabrarian | Feb 2, 2016 |
This photo journal of a foreigner in Afghanistan, Rafal Gerszak, covers both military and civilian persepective. The photographer is a Polish-Canadian who spent time as a youth in a refugee camp. He embeds with American forces in the first part of the book, but later comes back to the country on his own to witness Afghan civilian life. Some of it takes your breathe away. The volunteer doctor, the soldier who appears on the cover, the stoic mother guarding her dying child. We also get a bit of insight into the photographer's (rather than reporter) take on life, reflected best by the composition of the book. ( )
  geraldinefm | Jun 23, 2012 |
Part journal, part commentary, this 100+ page photo diary shows a non-heroic side to the war in Afghanistan. There is no titillation or melodrama in the words and photos showing the disconnect between modernity (bullet-proof tanks) and traditional practices (camels), between peace (praying to Allah) and war (loading an injured victim in to a helicopter). Despite the whimsical handwriting font and the picture book format, the content is ill-suited for young readers, as topics including suicide, death, loss of limb, bombs, post-traumatic stress, and shooting are mentioned matter-of-factly. Still, the second half of the story, focusing on civilian life, brings unexpected moments -- Afghans riding amusement park rides, diving into swimming pools, and piloting paddle boats. Few teens have imagined that there is world beyond the military story, a world of Coke cans, a golf course, a zoo featuring Afghanistan's only pig, and dice games. Photos of men are far more prevalent than those of women (due to Afghan societal mores). Although captions on the photos would be a welcome addition, this honest, balanced photomemoir has an urgently-needed place in teen collections. The author/photographer's own youth was spent in part in refugee camps. Highly recommended. (228) ( )
  activelearning | Dec 10, 2011 |
This is not my typical type of book. Can't say I loved it but I do understand a little bit more about Afganistan and it's people. I wish their was no need for any war.
Rafel Gerszak spent a year enbedded with American troups. He saw and photographed the war. Then later he went back to Afganistan on his own to see how the life was during war and what they were like.
This book was filled with pictures he took. Also had his journal and what was going on. plus facts about the people,politics.
He showed the struggle the people with injuries from war. Doctors treating people without the drugs and supplies we take for granted. Showed how the women are and told more because its hard to get photographs of women. Showed some changes, somethings stay the same.
Told how after a year enbedded than comming back to see the everyday life than going back with same American troups how much he had changed too.
I was given an ebook of this book so it was a little hard sometimes to see all I wanted to see. These photos moved me and make me appreciate the freedoms that I and my girls have. Hard to see the suffering but it's good that we know the cost of wars and freedoms. ( )
  rhonda1111 | Sep 24, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 155451293X, Hardcover)

Stunning photos reveal an Afghanistan we rarely see.

Award-winning photographer Rafal Gerszak spent a year embedded with the American military in Afghanistan, where he used his camera to document everyday life in the war-torn country. While there, he developed a deep affection for the land and its people, and he later returned on his own. Despite the dangers around him, he continued taking photos, exposing the plight of that besieged country.

Framed by journal entries that relate his experiences on two levels -- as a foreigner looking for a deeper connection to a country that has stirred him and as a journalist looking for another side to the story -- Beyond Bullets addresses the volatile situation in Afghanistan with sensitivity and profound insight. Through Gerszak's lens, readers can see the shattered aftermath of military attacks and dismal hospitals and refugee camps, but they can also experience the vibrant activity of life in the markets, at home and on the Muslim day of rest.

Featuring more than 40 of Gerszak's photographs and at once harrowing and heartrending, Beyond Bullets is as illuminating as it is riveting.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:33 -0400)

Journal entries and stunning photographs by an award-winning photographer address the volatile situation in Afghanistan.

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