This project's funding goal was not reached on September 12, 2010.
About this project
Since 2006, I have been documenting Marines and Army training grounds that are built to resemble the Mideast. These simulations, at the Army's Fort Irwin and Fort Polk and at the Marine base at 29 Palms, are vast Mideasts with villages full of actors and "insurgents" and feature complex warfare scenarios that prepare troops before they are deployed overseas. I even "embedded" as a photojournalist in the simulations in 2008 and 2009. Along the way, I've taken both landscape images of what "Fake Afghanistan" looks like as well as pictures of the daily life in soldiers--not just moments of tension or combat but what it's like, in the twenty-first century, to be a service member on a day to day basis. You can see some of these images at www.nicholasgrider.com.
The goal has always been for me to embed overseas (for six weeks) in order to complete the project, in two ways: 1) to produce side-by-side images of both fake and real Afghanistan as a means of comparison between what warfare is like and how well it can be simulated, and 2) to continue the project of moving beyond news-related images for pictures of what life is actually like for troops overseas and what goes on behind the scenes of what you see in the news during the process of rebuilding and leaving the country.
The money I raise for Kickstarter will be spent on required or mandatory expenses, mostly on body armor, airfare, and insurance. The result of the project will be a photography book as well as art shows in the US and Europe that show the Two Afghanistans I've mentioned.
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- (30 days)