The Art in War
Photographs by Benjamin Busch
From the invasion, liberation and occupation of IRAQ
January 7 - April 10, 2005
UMUC Arts Program
Inn and Conference Center
West Building Lobby
University of Maryland University College (UMUC) will exhibit photos taken in Iraq in 2003. U.S. Marine reservist Benjamin Busch, of College Park, MD, took the photos in Iraq while serving there as commanding officer of Delta Company, 4th Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion in 2003.
The exhibit, titled “The Art in War,” includes approximately 40 images that Busch says “do both the American military and the Iraqi people a certain unique justice.”
Busch has been a photographer for many years, but this is the first time he has displayed his work publicly.
“I generally don't take pretty pictures of sunsets,” the Marine major said. “I thought this topical exhibit needed to be seen and considered immediately.” As he recently told the Associated Press, “My photos are not pro-war, they're not anti-war. They don't say the war is a mistake or it is the best thing we have done. What they do say is, 'It was war, it was Iraq, and we were there.”
Many of Busch's photos are “a day in the life” of Iraqis-at work, for example-and some depict the after-effects of the regime of former leader Saddam Hussein. One photo that Busch titled “Bound,” for example, shows the skeletal arms of an executed man still tied with wire after his body was exhumed from a mass grave.
Busch is being redeployed in January, 2005, this time to the Anbar Province, which includes the city of Fallujah, to serve as a member of the newly created 5th Civil Affairs Group. He says he will take his camera again on this deployment. But since Fallujah has recently been the site of such fierce fighting, Busch is not sure of the reception that he will receive with a camera.
“The complexity of my mission and the delicacy of my interactions with Iraqis in that region may simply make my personal photography inappropriate this time or impossible due to insurgent activities,” he says. “I don't go there to take pictures. I take pictures because I am there.”
“The Art in War” exhibit can be seen from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. The exhibition is free and open to the public.
Photographs by Benjamin Bush