Review on

Posted on January 7, 2014 by Alexandra Avakian

"Look at one of the more “ordinary” images, like Alexandra Avakian’s 2002 photo, “Tufaha Baydayn, a Lebanese American, fled Lebanon’s civil war in the 1970s. Dearborn, Michigan.” It shows an elderly, bespectacled lady clad in a cotton nightgown, slippers and headscarf pushing a red lawnmower over the grass outside her home—a quintessential, brick-made American house with a white awning, a small patio and steps leading to the front door. This woman’s slice of the American dream doesn’t look like it belongs to her; more likely viewers expect to find a middle-aged, beer-bellied white guy in a polo shirt in this picture, not a Lebanese lady in a headscarf. By drawing attention to her as an outsider, the photo captures how drastically war can shake the lives of ordinary people, and force many to make home in places they might never have otherwise envisioned living—places like, say, Dearborn, Michigan."

read whole review here:  Susan Sontag was right: War photography can anesthetize


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