In Search for an Identity.
S.Brannon Photography my other website.
Stop the War
Cost of the War in Iraq
Links/information Photography Workshops
Want to Sponsor me and my civil journalism thesis project? Want to buy prints? Click Here for more information.
This site has a lot of information to offer, however, I was keeping a blog along with this site and I found it too time consuming to keep up both. Please continue to browse through this site, but if you would like to read more, on the quest for identity, change, and dive into the mind of an ex war photojournalist view my blog, where I found it easier to post and continue on with the quest! At: After The War. On the blog, I list more informational links, and relavant information conflict between Palestine and Israel with some information on Iraq. It would be a good research site for Middle Eastern study students or conflict and journalism studies.
Many of you are here because you received a request for donation email that linked to this blog.
If you want to know more and donate go to: my information page
I finished my thesis project titled: The Crossing Borders Project ! (click on the link to view the fieldnotes from the project)
Welcome to my blog. We all need blogs these days. I am away from the computer for a while
so if you happen on to this website, on the left are my "Photograph of the Day" Identity-Photography Project.
Sick of the War?
Reportage an online magazine for photojournalism
News Photographer Magazine the NPPA
American Photojournalist by photojournalists for photojournalists
Raffaele Ciriello's website, who was killed in action in Ramallah
MERIP Middle East Research and Information Project
|Jerusalem Post an Israeli Newspaper in English
The Haaretz Daily an Israeli Newspaper in Hebrew and English
Y Net News - Israeli News in English
Palestine News Network - Palestine news in English
WAFA - Palestine News Agency in English and Arabic
Palestine Report - Palestine News in English
Someone told me the other day is that everyone is sick of hearing about the Iraqi War.
This ignorance of reality made me really sad. Are we really too busy to be concerned
with our future welfare? Today the headlines read, “US Military Deaths Reach 2,000”.
Bush responded with a warning that many more sacrifices will happen as we fight against “as brutal of an enemy we have ever faced, unconstrained by any notion of common humanity and the rules of warfare.”
As brutal of an enemy we have ever faced? Unconstrained by any notion of common humanity and the rules of warfare? What planet is Bush on? Whose sacrifice? As of 11:56 European time we Americans
have spent a total of $203, 563,908.752 can you say that number? The rate is at $17,000 per minute, while our health system crashes, homelessness is on the rise in every city in American, not only men, but families without a roof over their heads. According to the latest report from the Bureau of Statistics, 12.4% of Americans live in poverty, a 0.3% increase in three years. 15.5% of the Americans are uninsured for medical purposes that are a 0.2% increase in the past three years.
This means that 36,335,418 Americans are in poverty over the age of 16 and 45,417,723 Americans are uninsured. The 2004 population estimate is 283,027,571.
In the meantime, our men are “sacrificing” their lives and we can't even put a definition as to why. For the cause of humanity and war crimes, and to trample down a man who murdered his own people in the name of democracy? Who is committing the war crimes here? The Iraqi Body Count website says that as of today a minimum of 26,690 and a maximum of 30,051 Iraqi civilians have been killed. Sanitation and health concerns run rampant in Iraq due to the war. Jobs are lost and poverty in Iraq in increasing. But this is not only occurring in Iraq , but also in America .
We all know that there were not any weapons of mass destruction and we all know about the oil scandals we all know about the torture crimes and the attempt to hide the truth. Who is going to benefit from this are certain corporations in America and the Shei who are most likely inherit a new country.
http://icasualties.org/oif/ Iraq collation casualty count
http://www.antiwar.com/ lists the vigils occurring around the county
Pomegranate from the Latin pomum granatum, means “apple of many seeds”. Some say that this is the “apple” which eve was tempted with and gave to Adam. The pomegranate is native to Asia and naturalized in the Mediterranean .
As a Jewish symbol the pomegranate is a symbol of bounty, sustenance and power, all three attributes by which women are blessed. There are 613 seeds in a pomegranate which equals the number of mitzvoth in the Torah. It is also a symbol of fertility according to the first commandment of the Torah, to be fruitful and multiply. In Arabic folklore it is a symbol for the female breast.
In modern Greece , it represents “agatha”, the good things of life. The Greek legend of Persephone, the pomegranate symbolizes fertility, death, and eternity. Pluto abducted Persephone to the underworld to set her on his throne, her mother Demeter-goddess of nature-was not happy. She grieved the world into famine so that Zeus was forced to intervene, requiring Pluto to restore Persephone to the earth. She had not eaten for in the interim. Alas, was as unhappy as she was and Persephone ate 6 pomegranate seeds to quench her thirst. The compromise was that Persephone would return to earth for 6 months, and then Hades for another six. Demeter obliged the weather to match her time, which is when the summer and winter were born.
For the Christians, the pomegranate is a symbol of hope and the Resurrection. The Romans imported pomegranates calling it “malum punicum” or “apple of Carthage .” The pomegranate was chosen as the logo for the Millennium Festival of Medicine because the pomegranate has been revered for its medicinal properties.
The “Garden Song” from the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics is this:
"The pomegranate speaks:
My leaves are like your teeth
My fruit like your breasts.
I, the most beautiful of fruits,
Am present in all weathers, all seasons
As the lover stays forever with the beloved,
Drunk on 'shedeh' and wine.
All the trees lose their leaves, all
Trees but the pomegranate.
I alone in all the garden lose not my beauty,
I remain straight.
When my leaves fall,
New leaves are budding.
First among fruits
I demand that my position be acknowledged,
I will not take second place.
And if I receive such an insult again
You will never hear the end of it...."
(The translation was based on Boris de Rachewiltz literal renderings into Italian of papyri and pottery dating back to 1567-1085 BCE)
Bob Dylan Masters of War 1963
I am in Italy and last night I was invited over to some friends house for dinner. After dinner they proceeded to put on some music. The guy had an amazing collection! Here he is at 30 years old with Every single Bob Dylan, Donavan, Johnny Cash and more CD's. He had over 1000 CD's mostly 60's American Music.
This is music that I am not used to hearing, that I really know nothing about and the guys started talking about this and that, where the song was written, when and with whom. It took me to an American evening in the 60's while I was sitting in a living room in Italy .
This is a time in our history, where people stood up, I mean really stood up against WAR. What we did in America in the 60's took an effect on the world. The Italians know the songs, and they remember. Now, they wonder WHY aren't we doing it again?
I listened to the lyrics, all of love, peace and no war. I started to wonder on the same thing. I wonder what has happened to our country and our people. Our expenses greatly surpass our income to the point that we cannot take care of ourselves. Our children are without shelter and food, families are sleeping in the streets without the hope of finding a job because corporate America is taking the work to other countries and paying slave labor to cut down on expenses.
How long will we sit down and remain silent? What happened to our fighting spirit?s
I learned more about our past last night, than I have when I lived there! Here is a lyric from a Bob Dylan Song: Masters of
Come you masters of war You that build all the guns You that build the death planes You that build the big bombs You that hide behind walls You that hide behind desks I just want you to know I can see through your masks You that never done nothin' But build to destroy You play with my world Like it's your little toy You put a gun in my hand And you hide from my eyes And you turn and run farther When the fast bullets fly Like Judas of old You lie and deceive A world war can be won You want me to believe But I see through your eyes And I see through your brain Like I see through the water That runs down my drain You fasten the triggers For the others to fire Then you set back and watch When the death count gets higher You hide in your mansion As young people's blood Flows out of their bodies And is buried in the mud You've thrown the worst fear That can ever be hurled Fear to bring children Into the world For threatening my baby Unborn and unnamed You ain't worth the blood That runs in your veins How much do I know To talk out of turn You might say that I'm young You might say I'm unlearned But there's one thing I know Though I'm younger than you Even Jesus would never Forgive what you do Let me ask you one question Is your money that good Will it buy you forgiveness Do you think that it could I think you will find When your death takes its toll All the money you made Will never buy back your soul And I hope that you die And your death'll come soon I will follow your casket In the pale afternoon And I'll watch while you're lowered Down to your deathbed And I'll stand o'er your grave 'Til I'm sure that you're dead
Photo(s) of the Day:
17 October 2005
The Pozzolatico Winery at the Castle of the local Prince.
There are a few things that the Italians cannot live without in their homes and one of those things is olive oil and wine. The Pozzolatico Castle store, that is owned by the renowned Count (I call him a Prince), is open on Wednesday afternoons and Saturday mornings. Rumor says that the prince owns all the land in Pozzolatico and more! He has his own carpenter, farmers, olive trees, grape vines and store. He produces his own wine and olive oil.
Today, I went to the Castle to buy some of the famed olive oil and red wine. I walked from my humble abode up the road to the castle. The tall tale sign that visitors are welcome to the castle is when the large Iron Gate is open. As I walked through the gate on the road lined with rosemary, olive trees, random flowers and nicely pruned bushes, I felt like the lost girl searching for her prince. As I enter into the garden and down the nicely landscaped road, I see a few cars parked near a large antique wooden garage door. “This must be where the famed wine and olive oil is!” Grungy looking aged men are hanging around the parking lot smoking cigarettes and holding large various designed glass jars to hold the precious wine or olive oil.
A welder. While I was taking my walk to move my body from the computer I saw two human beings which is
unusual in the country in the middle of the day. I asked them if I could take a photograph. They were happy
to accomodate my entertainment needs.
There is a beautiful house that the man on the left is remodeling. It overlooks the Tuscan Hills and the lights
of Florence. He is tiling the floors, new bathrooms and a new kitchen. To live in a home like this is only
This is a photograph of the road I live off of in the rolling hills near Florence, Italy. We have
Olive trees and grape vines, farmers and one small coffee bar. The local market closed a week
ago and the locals including myself are upset because we have to drive to the next town to buy
On a side note:
Veterinary workers place a dead duck in a plastic bag after killing it on suspicion of bird flu disease in the village of Ceamurlia de Jos (300km east of Bucharest ) in this October 8, 2005 file picture. A strain of avian influenza has been detected in samples from Romanian ducks, confirming that the virus has arrived in Europe , Romania 's chief veterinarian and the Eurpean commission said October 13, 2005 . click here for more about it.
The Italians are going crazy over this virus that is coming our way. I read in the local paper that something like 4 out of 10 people are expected to come into contact with the virus. Those are high numbers and I am living here. Italy processed an order for some of the vaccines, but the statistics show that the amount of shots ordered compared to the population will not protect the virus from spreading. (World Health Org) The elderly and children and pregnant mothers will have the first priority to get the shots.
Holiday Time in Baghdad
10 Oct 2005
While the American deaths nearly doubled since last year, ( http://seattletimes.nwsource.com ) the drafting of the new constitution the debate continues with the Sunnis; you can book your hotel to visit Iraq and tour the region. The advertisement is marketed to tourist indicating that Iraq is the place to be and visit in spite of the continual bombardment of attacks. ( www.kayak.com ) You can search for flights, hotels and cars!
The Al Mansour Hotel in Baghdad had a high rating of 6 out of 10. One can play tennis, enjoy your leisure time at the health spa and club. You may also relax and enjoy the warm evenings by relaxing near the outdoor pool. They also provide a laundry service, room service, currency exchange and to top it off you can purchase gifts at the gift shop in the lobby and mail them to your friends back home. After a relaxing day near the pool, you can enjoy the evenings chatting with your war friends, journalists and US contract workers at the bar. However, when I attempted to get the hotel price online at Kayak, it failed to provide me with any information. I did find the exact location and the hotels telephone number, just in case I want to vacation in Iraq .
The Palestine Hotel is also listed as their places to consider for your holiday enjoyment. As I recall, the hotel was kindly guarded by the American Army surrounded with tanks and barriers. You only needed to look like a foreigner to enter into the complex. The army presence provided an immense amount of security for those who were concerned about bombings. I stayed in a different hotel, because of the Army presence. Their presence increased my visibility, with my blond hair and blue eyes, I wanted to blend in with the crowd as much as possible.
My hotel was the Al Mansour Hotel, and my cost was 100 American dollars a night. The American menu for dinners accommodated the journalists needs down home cooking and the bar was well stocked for hard to get alcoholic beverages. We had two guards posted at the parking entrance near the front door. One fine evening while chatting at the poolside, my partners and I heard some random gun shots. We were used to the sounds of bullets flying through the air, so we did not really pay any attention and continued with our pleasant conversation. Later that evening, we discovered that one of the guards was shot and killed by a fellow friend, because he would not allow him into the hotel.
This was one of many pleasant stories of my time in Baghdad .
Do I need to write something about photojournalism here?
Okay, Yes, photojournalism is an interesting subject especially the war ones. We've seen it all.
Yes, I have interviewed suicide bombers, been in suicide attacks, been shot at, guns pointed at me by nervous young soldiers, spit on, yelled at, my shoulder was used to cry on, been trapped in between tanks and couldn't get out. Been watched by snipers on rooftops, been lied to, picked up on, scared, lonely and nervous.
There is nothing like it. an adrenalin rush to say the least. Addictive. Exhilarating! It is hard to walk away from and stop before I become one of the numbers of the journalist killed during reporting. What are we to do once we stop? Where do we go and how do we change our networks to sell our photos? These are good questions and if anyone has an answer please feel free to send me an email. (posted on 6th of October 2005)
Another note: If you read below, I was going to do a photo a day...well...ehhh ummm. I have not begun yet. okay I will do it. I have to get organized. I will put them on the left side. where the tanks and destruction photos are. Oh what a mess.
This new one is a couple of Italian guys on the top left. Update 7 October 2005: Okay, I can't let go of all the war and my photos. I compromised, every other photo will be of my new life for these days.
I am currenlty working on a project to define Peace Photojournalism. This is a university project (Antioch McGregor University) for one of my courses. The Poynter Institute, NPPA, Anadolu University in Turkey and Studio Marangoni Photography School in Florence are partners in the project.
First, we will develop a survey to give to the photojournalist worldwide, analyze the data, and come up with a definition.
(September 2005) I am in a new phase of after the war in photojournalism. This site will slowly evolutionize into a new site as I evolutionize my own life.
This site has been a reflection of the gradual process of leaving the war, intermingled with the guilt of having the ability to walk away from the tears and pain, the frustration and despair, the destruction and leave those close to my heart.
The Home page will be a photo a day page, this is a continuation of my photojournalism, which at the moment, is an expression of a new life outside of war.
There is a blur and the lack of boundaries with the wars in Palestine, Iraq, Israel, the United States and Europe they are all intertwined. In light of the recent bombings in Sharm e Shiek and London, I now view these conflicts as a world war, a different kind of war. A war in public relations, the use of the media to create a false reality for the advancement of the governments and controlling of their citizens. It is a war of global terrorism, of lies and deceptions with innocent people dying daily.
The pages will be updated as time permits because I am now undertaking an intense graduate program on community change and civic leadership with the primary focus on peace photojournalism and Human Rights Refugee Law.
S.Brannon Photography my other website
information || | ©2004 S.Brannon Photography Copyright for all materials on this site remains with the original copyright holder. This site contains links to other websites. AftertheWar...? has no relationship, ownership or control over those other sites and is not responsible for their content. Articles posted on this site do not necessarily represent the opinions of AftertheWar...? This is a freespeech site.