Ideas Series: Riley and his story. Me and my outrage. You and us.

It provides a first-hand account of the military action in the Middle-East by using the discussion, editing and arrangement of photographs made by Riley, a nurse in Abu Ghraib prison, while on tours of duty. The photographs bypass the glamorous, photojournalistic styling of the broadcast and print media depictions of war. Stripped of this theatre, the images take on both a more sinister and more recognisable air. Here, Riley and Monica Haller reflect on the book and how it relates to the idea of protest.


The American-led war in Iraq had been going for two years when I contacted Riley. It felt far away and vague. I wanted to place myself in closer proximity to individuals who participated in, and were affected by it. What was the war doing to real people, to Iraqis and soldiers?

This is a protest against the dominant cultural narrative that positions political leaders and media outlets as the definitive experts on the current wars. Soldiers are trained not to self-reflect. They are not encouraged to speak philosophically or authoritatively. Riley and his story. protests against this system; it supports a representation of war by a person who was a participant in it and is affected by it daily.

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Riley and his story. Me and my outrage. You and us. Is published by Onestar Press/Falth & Hassler. For more information about the book visit

Published in Photoworks Issue 16, 2011
Commissioned by Photoworks

Buy Photoworks Issue 16