Nina Berman en Amanda Tetrault presenteren boeken

Dinsdag 12 oktober wordt van 17 – 19 uur in de ABC Treehouse, Voetboogstraat 11, Amsterdam een informele presentatie gegeven van twee Amerikaanse fotoboeken.

De twee fotografen zullen aanwezig zijn en er is volop gelegenheid tot discussie.

Purple Heart van Nina Berman
Phil & Me van Amanda Tetrault

Van de uitgever Trolley Books:

A Purple Heart is the token honor given to soldiers wounded in combat. It makes them heroes. It is also the title that Nina Berman has given to her photographs of American soldiers gravely injured in the Iraq war, who have returned home to face life away from the waving flags and heroic send-offs. The images are accompanied by first person interviews with the young soldiers who discuss their lives, reasons for enlisting, experiences in Iraq and their prospects as disabled veterans, some of them blind, some without limbs, others brain damaged and wheel-chair bound.

The words and photos make for a complex portrait of American youth, their values, their dreams, the lack of opportunity facing them upon high school graduation, and the myths of warfare which informed their decisions to join.

One soldier explained that he always wanted to be a hero and thought the military would be fun. He never imagined an RPG attack in Fallujah would leave him a cripple unable to care for a wife and two children. Another described calling the recruiting station after he saw an MTV-style Army commercial on TV. An immigrant from Pakistan, he was given his citizenship following his injury, a fair trade in his mind, a leg for an American passport. Yet another soldier left a crime, drug ridden neighborhood in Alabama, only to return 100 percent disabled back where he started but now bedridden.

The photographs are accompanied by essays from Verlyn Klinkenborg, an author and editorial writer for the New York Times, and Tim Origer, a Vietnam veteran and former Marine who fought in the Tet offensive. He came back a 19 year-old amputee.

Nina Berman has been photographing the American political and social landscape for close to 15 years. Her work has been exhibited and widely published in magazines throughout the world including Time, National Geographic, Harpers, Mother Jones, New York Times Magazine, Paris Match, and German Geo. Educated at University of Chicago and Columbia University, she lives in New York City where she also teaches at the International Center of Photography.

Purple Hearts provides a glimpse into the myths of warfare as glorious spectacle through the minds of young men desperate to believe in the righteousness of their actions.


Phil & Me is a personal document of a daughter’s use of photography to try to control her relationship with her father and the disease that has crippled him, as well as an attempt to focus public understanding upon the essential humanity, the worth and contribution, of all victims of schizophrenia.

In the book Amanda Tetrault explores the world of her father Philip – a poet who has lived with schizophrenia since he attended McGill University at the age of 21. Philip was a poet suffused with promise and was hailed by Leonard Cohen as Canada’s best kept secret in 1989…before he slipped into yet another schizophrenic nightmare.

The book juxtaposes Philip’s poetry with black and white images of him taken during the sporadic meetings with Amanda. The photographs encompass a period of six years and the poetry eight years. Photo-booth pictures that span the past twenty-seven years form the thread that binds the surreal visual and poetic narrative. Phil & Me evolved into a collaboration between father and daughter after Amanda asked Philip to try to write again. Since then he has given her scraps of paper and napkins full of poetry at every meeting.

Philip’s poetry immerses us into the reality of his days – moving through the cafes and parks of Montreal his habitual Mickey of vodka in hand, where many of his acquaintances are street kids, squirrels, crows and seagulls. His are the musings of a man who has survived a crippling disease – a disease rarely discussed and more often disowned.

Phil & Me tells the stories of many, through the experience of one, and gives passionate voice to those who rarely speak out and are even more rarely heard.

Amanda Tetrault was awarded the Canada Council of the Arts Emerging Artist Grant for her work chronicling her father. After graduating from Dawson College in Montreal, she joined the Maine Photographic Workshops, Rockport, Maine and subsequently the Toscana Photographic Workshops, Tuscany, Italy. She moved to New York, working with the National Geographic photographer Steve McCurry, and collaborated on the production of his books Portraits (Phaidon Press) and South South East (Phaidon Press).