Histories Are Mirrors: The Path of Conflict Through Afghanistan and Iraq

SALANG PASS, AFGHANISTAN. NOVEMBER 9, 2001 Northern Alliance soldiers face the onset of winter at the mountainous front line in the Hindu Kush mountains. The Salang Pass is about sixty miles north of Kabul, less than a mile to the Taliban forces.
© Tyler Hicks / The New York Times

Work by Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Tyler Hicks
(August 16–October 10, 2010)

Histories Are Mirrors features award-winning images of the conflict-filled regions that have come to define our national policy today, taking us from September 11 through Afghanistan and into the streets of Iraq with Tyler Hicks, one of America’s greatest talents in photojournalism and a recent recipient of the Pulitzer Prize.

From the devastation of the World Trade Center in 2001, through the mountains of Afghanistan, to the battle for Iraq, Tyler Hicks’ images have made history as well as recorded it. His pictures became internationally known in the pages of the New York Times as well as in Paris-Match, Stern, the Sunday Times (London), and more. Featured here are fascinating images, including rarely seen personal photographs of Saddam Hussein as a young man, looted hand-colored renderings of his fantasy palaces, assassinations, and acts of salvation. This extraordinary compilation of documentary photographs taken in the first half of the last decade shows us war up close—soldiers from all sides, in battle and its bloody aftermath, destroyed cities, palaces and archaeological treasures, refugees and battered civilians, and the shocking images of reprisal that bring home the savagery of emotion that characterizes the continuing confrontation. Hicks shows how the stark but dignified realities of everyday life coexist with pathos and grace during conflict and its aftermath.

Histories Are Mirrors: The Path of Conflict Through Afghanistan and Iraq is an Umbrage Editions exhibition.
Curator: Nan Richardson, Umbrage Editions

This exhibition is presented in collaboration with the 2010 Commons Reading, Three Cups of Tea, by Greg Mortenson, and is supported, in part, by the Office of the Provost, the College of Arts and Science, and The Commons.