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Peter van Agtmael July 30, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Chile.
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Valparaiso, Chile 2007

Peter van Agtmael (B. 1981, USA) has been covering the American wars and their consequences since the beginning of 2006.  He was the winner in 2007 of a World Press award for his work on night raids in Iraq, and was selected for the 2008 World Press Joop Swart Masterclass.  Van Agtmael’s work on the wars won the Critical Mass book award.  He helped organize the Battlespace project, a multi-platform retrospective of largely unseen images from dozens of photographers covering Iraq and Afghanistan. Peter is a recently nominated member of Magnum Photos.

About the Phoitograph:

“This picture is part of a small series of photos that has some significance to me.  It was taken in Valparaiso, Chile at the end of 2007.  I was on a small trip around South America with my girlfriend at the time.  I had lived in Valparaiso in 2002 as an exchange student, which turned out to be a very important experience.  It was the first time that I really dedicated myself to picture taking, and at the end the experience I knew definitively that I wanted to be a photographer.   This was my first time back, and while my girlfriend worked I would go on long walks around the city to take pictures and think about all that had happened in the five years that had passed. At the time I took this picture, I had spent much of the previous two years photographing war in Iraq, Afghanistan, and their consequences at home.  It had been a really intense period, and I wasn’t taking many pictures for pure pleasure.  My few weeks in South America really gave me a shot in the arm, and although many of the pictures were failures, it felt like a small evolution in my way of seeing.”

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