The 88km of Mosul Road has become the point of transition from the relative normalcy of Erbil to the chaos prevailing on the Mosul frontline and I have documented each kilometer of it. Starting from the Citadel in the center of Erbil to al-Nuri Mosque: the man sitting outside his store front smoking a cigarette, local markets coming to life after a year of war, a city flattened by airstrikes, this stretch of landscape has been collaged together in a single, un-curated, panoramic image that attempts to draw the viewer into the reality of living in a place affected by war. You see that they carry on, seemingly unfazed at times, in their destroyed neighborhoods. The juxtaposition of normal life in a place of chaos seems impossible, but it is a familiar reality here.
Supplemented by individual interviews, portraits, documents, and audio, this work will become an all encompassing sensory experience that brings viewers into the simulated landscape of living in and around a conflict zone. This documentation will contribute to a broader understanding of Iraqi lives, exploring the essence of their humanity and the war’s influence on those identities. The goal of this project is to challenge and restructure the preconceived ideas of “normal” “conflict zone” and “war” through a comprehensive freeze frame of a critical moment within Iraqi history.