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Allison Rose Lopez
William Allen White School of Journalism & Mass Communications

Journalism school to host 'Conflict Zone' traveling exhibit of military, civilian photojournalism

Tue, 03/25/2014

LAWRENCE—The William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications invites the public to view "The Conflict Zone," a traveling photography exhibit featuring images from frontlines of Iraq and Afghanistan. The exhibit, which depicts the reality of the human experience in war zones through the work of more than 30 military and civilian journalists, has appeared at universities across the country. It will be displayed in the Clarkson Gallery on the first floor of Stauffer-Flint Hall from Wednesday, March 26, through the end of May.

“One of the jobs of journalists is to go where ordinary people can’t go," said Barbara Barnett, associate dean of the journalism school. “The purpose of this exhibition is to document the lives of the people who are in conflict zones—not only the military, but also the civilians.”

Barnett, who is co-director of the school's Media and the Military Project, along with Professor Tom Volek, said the exhibit's realistic images range from touching to harsh. 

“The point is not to glorify war,” Barnett said. “One of the criticisms of mass media is that they tend to sanitize war and make it seem like a glorious adventure or a Rambo movie. It’s not like that, and this exhibit really shows it.”

The photos in "The Conflict Zone" first appeared with news reports from The New York Times, Getty Images, the Washington Post, CBS News, the St. Petersburg Times and USA Today, among others. Two photographers, Ben Brody and John Moore, will speak to students about their experiences covering violence when they visit the school for the exhibit opening. 

Brody has covered the American military at war as both a soldier and as a civilian. While enlisted in the U.S. Army as a combat journalist, he spent more than two years in Iraq covering Baghdad’s descent into sectarian violence and the 2007 troop surge. His work now appears in the GlobalPost in Afghanistan. He also covers veterans issues in New England. Brody’s photos are part of the exhibit.

Moore is a senior staff photographer for Getty Images whose photojournalism has been honored by World Press Photo for documenting major world events, including the U.S foreclosure crisis in 2011, the 2007 assassination of Benazir Bhutto in Pakistan and an outdoor solitary confinement cell at Abu Ghraib prison, west of Baghdad, in 2004.

An opening reception is planned from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 26, in Stauffer-Flint Hall’s Clarkson Gallery. The guests will include retired Col. Steve Boylan, who served as military spokesman for Gen. David Petraeus in Baghdad. Boylan currently works at Fort Leavenworth and teaches at the Command and General Staff College. The public is invited to view the exhibit and to participate in an ongoing social media conversation about the human realities of war by using the hashtags #truthofwar and #conflictzoneexhibit. Viewer content will be compiled into a narrative using Storify.

The Clarkson Gallery in Stauffer-Flint Hall is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.

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