Who goes to war—and why? It’s a daunting reality, one that people around the world face, over and over again, their stories disappearing in the wind. We know only so much, and so we rely on the people who survived to pass on knowledge, to record the facts, a staggering responsibility few undertake. But there are those who use the camera to document the visible world so that at the very least we may glimpse the cold hand of death sweeping across the land like a machine. It’s hard. Numbness is the first consequence. Nothing is real anymore, nothing besides survival itself.
In 2011, photographer Michael Christopher Brown traveled to Libya to photography the Revolution that began on February 17. It was his first war, and he spent a year armed with a camera on the battlefield. Hailing from a military family that dates back to the Revolutionary War, Brown is an eleventh generation American patriot charged to put his life on the line—but for what? This is the central question of Libyan Sugar (Twin Palms).
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Photo: LIBYA. BENGHAZI. March 2, 2011. 15:30:56. The now destroyed Nasser statue, constructed in honor of the former Egyptian president.© Michael Christopher Brown/Magnum Photos, from Libyan Sugar (Twin Palms).