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Megan Abajian
School of Fine Arts (SoFA) Gallery
812 855-8490

Jennifer Piurek
University Communications

Last modified: Tuesday, January 27, 2009

IU SoFA Gallery showcases well-known photographer's compelling images of Iraq

Jan. 27, 2009

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- As part of Indiana University's Arts Week (Feb. 19-March 1), IU's School of Fine Arts (SoFA) Gallery will showcase award-winning photojournalist Ashley Gilbertson's images chronicling America's early battles in Iraq and leading up to the country's first national elections.

The exhibition "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot" contains 10 selected images from Gilbertson's book Whiskey, Tango Foxtrot: A Photographer's Chronicle of the Iraq War. A photographer for the New York Times, Newsweek, and Time, among other publications, Gilbertson will discuss his exhibit and related book during a lecture Feb. 24 at 6 p.m. in Radio/TV 251. The lecture will be followed by a book signing and opening reception for the exhibition at the SoFA Gallery. All events are free and open to the public.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

An image from "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot," a new SoFA Gallery exhibit featuring photographs by Ashley Gilbertson

While he's in town, Gilbertson will visit Associate Professor Steve Raymer's "Media Ethics and Values" class at the School of Journalism to talk about his experience being embedded with U.S. troops in Iraq. He'll also talk about one of the most tragic moments in the media coverage of that war, when a U.S. Marine was killed during a fire fight in Fallujah while trying to help Gilbertson get a photo. "That's a lot to have on your conscience, and he's talked about it a lot," Raymer said.

"Ashley Gilbertson's work is stunning in the way it captures the tension between the 'meaning' and the 'meaninglessness' of war," said John Louis Lucaites, an IU professor of rhetoric and public culture in the Department of Communication and Culture. "He may well be the heir apparent to James Nachtwey as our preeminent 'war photographer.''"

In addition to photographs of America's early battles in Iraq and the country's first national elections, "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot" features images of the initial occupation of Baghdad, the insurgency that erupted shortly afterward and the dramatic battle to overtake Fallujah.

This wide-ranging chronicle of the war from the viewpoint of the photographer is the first of its kind. Gilbertson's narratives convey the exhilaration and terror of photographing war, as well as the challenges of photojournalism in this age of embedded reporting.

Described as "harrowing snapshots of the American soul," Whiskey, Tango Foxtrot: A Photographer's Chronicle of the Iraq War was chosen as a "Best Book of 2007" by

"Ash Gilbertson and his work follow in the tradition of Robert Capa, the most famous war photographer of the 20th century," said Raymer. "It's no surprise that Gilbertson has been awarded the Robert Capa gold medal by the Overseas Press Club of America for his work in Iraq. Ash gets close, like Capa, and brings a compassionate eye to the dirty business of war."

For more information, contact the SoFA Gallery at 812-855-8490 or send e-mail to The SoFA Gallery is accessible to people with disabilities. Gallery hours: Tuesday-Friday, noon to 4 p.m. Closed Sunday and Monday. For more information about the SoFA Gallery, see