In it, they look closely at the life of Sabrina Harman, the young soldier who took the photos of prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib that have come to haunt us. The piece is so powerful, in part because the authors rely heavily on quotations from those involved, particularly Harman. Unlike most New Yorker pieces, which I find sometimes err on missing the voices of those at the center of the issue, this one is full of organic wanderings by the soldiers who got caught up in that horrendous place and time...What becomes clear very quickly is that Harman used her camera as a way to process the dissonance between what she felt was right--a small but nagging sentiment--and what she was watching happen all around her to the point of normalization. The lens becomes her way of organizing the world, of making sense of the nonsensical. Interestingly, she is known as the one who won't even let people kill a bug, but she never speaks out directly about the abuse being heaped on detainees. Clearly this contrast tells us something even more frightening about the power of conditioning. She wasn't seeing bugs tortured day in and day out. She was seeing people endure that to the point that it no longer seemed like something to endure or end.Also, I just caught up on the news that the last bastion of male dominance in the US Navy has been cracked.Women will now be allowed to serve on submarines. It's absolutely a step in the right direction, but damn if I don't wish we could just put an end to all this war. (Via feministing).
Monday, April 7, 2008
Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream...Part 2
Speaking of war, do check out Courtney's post on a recent New Yorker article titled "Exposure: The Woman Behind the Camera at Abu Ghraib," by Phillip Gourevitch and Errol Morris. Writes Courtney: