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Robert Nickelsberg - Afghanistan: A Distant War

Wednesday, April 2, 2014 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM


In 2013, photojournalist Robert Nickelsberg took a photo of two distinct columns of American soldiers at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan. One combat unit was arriving, the other going home. How could you tell which was which? The soldiers going home weren't wearing their helmets, they were carrying them. That coming-and-going photo, presented in Nickelsberg's book Afghanistan: A Distant War, represents both the American involvement with the nation and Nickelberg's career as a photographer in places where war is a daily fact.

Nickelsberg is no stranger to arriving and departing in war zones. He was a Time Magazine contract photographer for 25 years and during that time, from his base in New Delhi, he photographed elements of conflict in Kashmir, Iraq, Sir Lanka, India and Afghanistan. His camera captured the Soviet Union's withdrawal, the rise of the Taliban and the arrival of the American armed forces and, subsequently, elements of the American withdrawal, scheduled to be completed by December.

The New Yorker, writing about Afghanistan: A Distant War, described it as "a stunning collection of Nickelsberg’s photography. It’s a moving and indispensable book that captures the whole sweep of the country’s tumultuous modern history."

Since 2000, Nickelsberg has based his operations in New York while traveling the world and reporting on continuing conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq and, according to his bio, "chronicling the devastating psychological effects of war in Kashmir." Nickelsberg is on the advisory board of the Kashmir Initiative at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard University. In 2008, he received grants from the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma and from the South Asia Journalists Association to "document and report on post-traumatic stress disorder in Kashmir after 20 years of insurgency."

He also wrote a piece about being embedded with Marines in Iraq in March 2003 -- "Repack, Keep Quiet and Be Patient" is a vivid description of a mission that wound up at the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad where, for the sake of journalists, the locals made sure "the Saddam statue was down and broken apart."

Wednesday, April 02, 2014
Time: 6:30 PM
7:00 PM

Program & Book Signing


Place: MAP HKS
350 N St. Paul St., Suite 100,
Dallas, TX 75201
Tickets: $20
Calendar: Council Events
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