In the light of darkness
Views 7 June 2016


A title reminiscent of Conrad’s Heart of Darkness and Faulkner’s Light of August, U.S. photojournalist Kate Brooks (b. 1977) takes us to the brutal frontlines of our contemporary wars. After September 11, 2001, she moved from Russia to Pakistan to cover the launch of the War on Terror. In 2003, she covered the invasion of Iraq and the beginning of the insurgency for Time

Kate Brooks went on to Afghanistan, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Libya, and has worked with The New York Times, Newsweek, The New Yorker, The Atlantic and Smithsonian. Her first book, In the Light of Darkness is a beautiful testimonial of the realities of war and confirms that “every photojournalist contributes to the collective memory of human consciousness.” 

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  • General Khatol Muhammadzai, Afghanistan’s first female parachutist, was the highest-ranking woman in Afghanistan’s air force at the time the Taliban forced her to stay at home with a severance pay of $13 a month.
  • Afghan women prepare backstage to perform Shakespeare in Kabul for the first time since 1979.
  • An Afghan woman in Nangahar province harvests opium in a poppy field.
  • The nomadic Kuchi people seek refuge in the ruins of Darulaman Palace (Abode of Peace) in Kabul after violent ethnic disputes with the Hazaras.
  • Afghans play football outside the ruins of Darulaman Palace (Abode of Peace), built by King Amanullah Khan in the 1920s and later destroyed in the Afghan-Soviet and civil wars.
  • An estimated 135 people were killed in a car bombing at the Tomb of Imam Ali in Najaf. The attack targeted a prominent Shi’ite cleric and occurred as the faithful were leaving after Friday prayers.
  • Lebanese soldiers gather at the site of an Israeli air strike on a densely populated neighborhood of Beirut. Forty-one people were killed. Throughout the 2006 War the Lebanese military were instructed not to fight in an effort to avoid a country-to-country conflict.
  • Women dance on a bar top competing for the title of sexiest woman at a club party in Beirut.
  • After fighting broke out between extremist group Fatah al Islam and the Lebanese army in May 2007, the Lebanese military carried out an offensive that lasted for nearly four months. A man watches the the shelling of Naher al Bared camp from his rooftop. The majority of the 30,000 Palestinian refugees who live in the Palestinian refugee camp were forced to flee to another refugee.
  • A child walks through the wreckage left behind after Israeli air strikes on south Beirut.
  • Anti-Mubarak demonstrators gather in Tahrir Square for Friday prayers.
  • A wounded anti-Mubarak demonstrator lies on the ground in Tahrir Square.