Portrait of former prisoner at Abu Ghraib
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Abu Ghraib photographer: Restoring dignity to detainees

Pictures from Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq were released in 2004 and shocked the world. Americans were shown holding prisoners on a leash and humiliating them.

For years those who were abused at the US-run detention facility at Abu Ghraib and in other parts of Iraq have remained faceless.

Now fashion photographer Chris Bartlett has taken portraits of these men and women and told their stories.

Photography, he says, was integral to the Abu Ghraib scandal.

"The camera was an instrument of abuse," he says. "The soldiers - the perpetrators of abuse - took the camera and used it to humiliate their subjects."

He has taken his skills as a commercial photographer and applied them to his portraits of former prisoners. He says he used "a very slow, meditative process with natural light".

His process was a contrast to the "digital point-and-shoot" used by the Americans who abused the prisoners. "I was using one of the instruments of their torture to bring some of their humanity back to them," he says.

His exhibit can be seen from 18-28 September at Photoville, a pop-up space in New York.

Produced by Tara McKelvey, filmed and edited by Anna Bressanin

  • 15 Sep 2014
  • From the section Home