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Guide to the Benjamin Lowy Photographs, 2003-2008

Abstract

U.S.-born documentary photographer.

The Benjamin Lowy Photographs collection dates from 2003-2008 and consists of thirty-two 9x13" color digital inkjet photographs, stemming from Lowy's work in Iraq, which document the U.S. military presence in Iraq. The prints are arranged in two subseries: Windows and Nightvision. The Windows subseries offers images taken from the bulletproof windows of the armored Humvees in which Lowy spent most of his time while on missions in Iraq; they depict street scenes with Iraqi civilians, tanks, soldiers, checkpoints, military impoundments, street life, urban Iraqi culture, and a war-ravaged Iraqi landscape. Photographs in the Nightvision subseries were taken through U.S. military-issue night vision goggles and reveal greenish images of late night raids, prisoners, soldiers, interactions between soldiers and prisoners, Iraqi landscapes, families, women, and street scenes. The images were published in Iraq | Perspectives, 2011. Acquired as part of the Archive of Documentary Arts at Duke University.

Descriptive Summary

Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University
Creator
Lowy, Benjamin, 1979-
Title
Benjamin Lowy photographs 2003-2008
Language of Material
English
Extent
3.0 Linear Feet, 32 Items
Location
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

Collection Overview

The Benjamin Lowy Photographs collection dates from 2003-2008 and consists of thirty-two color photographs, stemming from Lowy's work in Iraq, which document the U.S. military presence in Iraq, night raids, street scenes, Iraqis civilians, prisoners and soldiers. The images were published in Iraq | Perspectives, 2011.

The prints are arranged in two subseries: Windows and Nightvision. The Windows subseries, consisting of 16 13" x 19" color digital inkjet prints, offers images taken from the bulletproof windows of the armored Humvees in which Lowy spent most of his time while on missions in Iraq. The images include street scenes with Iraqi civilians, tanks, soldiers, checkpoints, military impoundments, street life, urban Iraqi culture, and a war-ravaged Iraqi landscape. Images in the Nightvision subseries, consisting of 16 13" x 19" color digital inkjet prints, were taken through U.S. military-issue night vision goggles, which Lowy attached to his camera with a combination of duct tape, dental floss and occasionally chewing gum. The night vision images reveal late night raids, prisoners, soldiers, interactions between soldiers and prisoners, Iraqi landscapes, families, women, and street scenes. All the images were shot with a digital single lens reflex (DSLR) camera and printed on Epson Professional Paper. They are arranged in original order as received.

Acquired as part of the Archive of Documentary Arts at Duke University.

Administrative Information

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warning Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. The library may require up to 48 hours to retrieve these materials for research use.

Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.

warning Use Restrictions

The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

Contents of the Collection

Thirty-two 9x13" color digital inkjet prints taken by Benjamin Lowy during the Iraq War. The prints are arranged into two subseries, 1) Iraq | Perspectives I: Windows and 2) Iraq | Perspective II: Nightvision. The images are arranged in the original order as received.

Iraq | Perspectives I: Windows, 2003-2008

This subseries, consisting of 16 color digital inkjet prints, stems from images taken from the bulletproof windows of the armored Humvees in which Lowy spent most of his time while on missions in Iraq. This perspective was necessary since Lowy was unable to tour the streets of Iraq without protection. The Humvee window, evidenced in each image of this subseries, came to represent the barrier between the Americans and Iraqis. The images portray not only street scenes with Iraqi civilians, notably Iraqi women and children, but also tanks, soldiers, checkpoints, military impoundments, street life, urban Iraqi culture, and a war-ravaged Iraqi landscape.

(16 prints)
Box 1
Iraq | Perspective II: Nightvision, 2003-2008

The images of this subseries, consisting of 16 color digital inkjet prints, were taken through U.S. military-issue night vision goggles, which Lowy attached to his DSLR camera with a combination of duct tape, dental floss and occasionally chewing gum. The night vision images, with an eerie green hue, reveal cowering civilians, abandoned streets and anxious soldiers. The images document the impact of war on Iraq. Dominant subjects include late night raids, prisoners, soldiers, interactions between soldiers and prisoners, Iraqi landscapes, families, women, street scenes.

(16 prints)
Box 2

Historical Note

Benjamin Lowy, a documentary photographer, was born on June 4, 1979. After receiving his BFA from Washington University in St. Louis in 2002, Lowy began his career covering the Iraq War in 2003. In addition to his coverage of Iraq, Lowy has worked in Darfur, Libya, Haiti, Afghanistan, and other countries. Lowy has received numerous awards for his work from World Press Photo, POYi, PDN, Communication Arts, American Photography, and the Society for Publication Design. Lowy has also exhibited his work at the Tate Modern, SF MOMA, Houston Center for Photography, Invalides, and Arles. In 2011, Lowy's Iraq | Perspectives won the Duke University Center for Documentary Studies/Honickman First Book Prize in Photography by William Eggleston. Most recently, Lowy's work centers on U.S. domestic issues: the real estate bubble and its attendant high costs on Americans and their cities; electoral politics and demographics; and the Democratic and Republican national conventions.

Subject Headings

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Benjamin Lowy Photographs, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Provenance

The Benjamin Lowy Photographs were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a purchase in 2011.

Processing Information

Processed by Joanne Fairhurst, November 2012

Encoded by Joanne Fairhurst, November 2012

Accession(s) described in this finding aid: 2011-0180

Descriptive sources and standards used to create this inventory: DACS, EAD, NCEAD guidelines, and local Style Guide.

This finding aid is NCEAD compliant.