Return: After 11 years photographing Iraq and Afghanistan, Tom comes home
I've never met Tom Stanworth, although we have exchanged the odd email over the years. Tom is a remarkable man, a photographer who has spent the past decade working in two of the world's most troubled countries and experienced the sort of drama that few of us can even imagine. He is now packing and will return to a less exciting life in the North West of England. It has been a remarkable journey:
Eleven years of my life (Iraq then Afghanistan) have taken place in a setting that almost nobody I ever meet will have experienced and only a few more will be able to imagine. It has been a life within a life – a miniature universe that ceases to feel real the moment one departs and reconnects with ‘normality’. My photographs only scratch the surface. Essentially, everything that has made it a life will exist only inside my head, frozen in time and disconnected from all else. It’s a curious thought. It’s certainly far from a unique one, but that perhaps only a minority of people experience.
Tom's black and white images of a land in turmoil, his images of ordinary people carrying on with their lives in appalling conditions, are truly stunning. I strongly recommend you read his end-of-an-era post from Kabul and then work back through The Photo Fundamentalist blog to get a unique image of life in Afghanistan and Iraq.