Mosul image makers

Cris Veit


Mosul, Nīnawá, Iraq

In the twelve years that I worked as Photo Editor at the Brazilian edition of National Geographic Magazine, I used to give some guidelines to photographers interested in collaborating with the publication: “look for any relevant topic and with which you have an affinity, that you feel comfortable portraying. You don't have to look for an exotic destination. A personal point of view about something you have access to is the first step in making good projects.”

I followed my words to the letter to a certain extent. My first project as a photographer was produced in a distant place and on a topic with which, in principle, I was not familiar: war. And that happened because, at the end of 2016, I decided to join some photographers who had gone to Iraq to cover the battle for Mosul, the offensive of the international coalition formed to liberate the city, under the control of the Islamic State. My initial idea was to accompany these photographers, and to develop a work on the new generation of Brazilians who were dedicated to covering conflicts.

There I met photographers from other parts of the world producing works with a wide variety of approaches: from covering hardness for daily newspapers, to more reflective projects on the consequences of war, and even art photographers with conceptual projects. As a former photo editor, it was fascinating to see in practice the search for different approaches by photographers. As a photographer, I was in a familiar environment, being among photographers.

So I broadened the focus of my work and created “Mosul image makers”, which presents some of these photographers, shows what motivates them, what stories they are creating, the risks they take and how each of them gives their unique voice to a narrative told by many.

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