Review on Salon.com

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

Salon

Press Categories

Buy the Book

'Windows of the Soul' Book Cover

Named one of Oprah's best gift books and selected among American Photo's year-end best

Buy the Book

Become a Fan on Facebook

Become a fan and follow the latest news about Alexandra and Windows of the Soul on Facebook

Become a Fan

Buy the DVD

'National Geographic LIVE!—The Photographers' DVD cover

Featuring presentations and interviews by veteran National Geographic photographers Alexandra Avakian and Sam Abell

Buy the DVD