From Fallujah is a group photography exhibit featuring the work of four emerging Iraqi photographers. The exhibit proceeds from the idea that the best way to learn about a place is through the people who live there. Our purpose is to simply make another story about Fallujah visible to American audiences, one that departs from its militarized meaning in public memory. Fallujah is not an Iraq War battlefield. It is a place where people work, attend school, and frequent public spaces wanting what we all want, a chance to peaceably choose our lives.
This exhibit seeks to literally install an Iraqi perspective in an American space. With this in mind, audiences can expect to view photographs displayed in a more traditional mode, as well as arranged in a recreated Iraqi living space in the front of the gallery.
After a twenty-one-year career in the United States Army, John Bechtold is living his second act of life as an artist and academic. He was in Iraq twice, once as a platoon leader and once again as an advisor to the Iraqi Army. That experience continues to shape how he sees the world. John holds a Master’s degree from Duke University and is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the American Studies program at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. His dissertation explores the representation of war in American public memory.