TIME LightBox presents work from Peter van Agtmael’s forthcoming book “Disco Night Sept 11” (Red Hook Editions). The project includes photographs shot on assignment for TIME, as well as his latest video produced by TIME’s Red Border Films.
Van Agtmael says, “this is how I saw America’s wars from 2006-2013. I was scared of war but also comfortable in it. I had felt it in me from the beginning of my consciousness. I didn’t know what form it would take, but I always knew I would go.”
“I hope the act of making this book does not romanticize violence. When I was younger I was seduced by images of war as much as I was repulsed by them. Despite all the death and confusion and isolation and impotence I hope these pictures emit, I know they can only be a slender document. There are so many simultaneous existences and we can only be present in one. For every story that is recorded there are nearly infinite ones we’ll never know. The real weight of destruction is still happening constantly in anonymity across Iraq and Afghanistan and America, in endless repetition of all that has come before.
If I found any truth in war, I found that in the end everyone has their own truth.”
Peter Van Agtmael was born in Washington DC in 1981. He studied history at Yale, graduating with honors in 2003. Since 2006 he has primarily covered the 9/11 wars and their consequences, working extensively in Iraq, Afghanistan and the USA. He has also worked throughout Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East. He has won the W. Eugene Smith Grant, the ICP Infinity Award for Young Photographer, the Lumix Freelens Award, as well as awards from World Press Photo, American Photography Annual, The Pulitzer Center, The Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, FOAM and Photo District News. A selection of his work on America’s wars was published in the 2009 book ‘2nd Tour Hope I Don’t Die.’ The completed body of work will be published in ‘Disco Night Sept 11′ in late 2013. Peter joined Magnum Photos in 2008 and became a member in 2013.
TIME is a global media brand that reaches a combined audience of more than ninety million around the world. A trusted destination for reporting and insight, TIME’s mission is to tell the stories that matter most, to lead conversations that change the world, and to deepen understanding of the ideas and events that define our time.