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Bedrooms of the Fallen Hardcover – June 27, 2014
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Top Customer Reviews
Represented are 40 bedrooms of Iraq and Afghanistan soldiers and veterans, most who died in action, a few by suicide in the postwar years. It is accompanied by Gilbertson's essay "Absences," which explains his goal and also offers answers to those who might view these images as exploitative. As each bedroom shows, the death of a soldier does not remove him or her from history - and these bedrooms-memorials offer a more personal reminder than the "soulless military headshot" that Gilbertson writes typically accompanies the impersonal newspaper stories.
I would argue that far more exploitative are the more conventional 'combat' images that present a soldier at the most stressful moments - while the viewer can simply experience the 'excitement' with vicarious awe. In these bedroom images, the soldier is absent - and the viewer is entirely responsible for their own emotions.
The 40 images seem repetitive - at first. But with each closer look, the defining details of each image begin to stand out. Many of them have US flags, but how they are displayed gives a window into that family's memories. Stuffed animals are incongruous in the often masculine rooms. While the rooms seem unchanged, ready for their occupant to return, most have been clearly updated by the parents.
A major flaw is the absence of any Iraqi or Afghan soldiers. Adding this dimension to the project would have been difficult at best, probably impossible, but it's still a missing link.Read more ›
I had the pleasure of meeting the photographer at a book opening and was struck by his candor, joviality, sincerity and not the least his commitment to innovative story telling.
While this would not be the first book i would buy to start a photojournalism collection, there are many classic greats that represent the dominate "closer is better" style of photojournalism, this very well could be my second. Its revisiting what story is important to share, its sincerity to the soberness of the topic, and its compelling execution make it a must have for anyone serious in visual storytelling in todays media culture.
This is a story "anyone" could have had access execute, yet only one person did. He deserves credit for finding and following through on what can only be imagined was a very emotional and complicated project.
Selfishly, we get to benefit from his work by seeing some great images of a world that otherwise would have been lost in time.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
We had the honor of hearing Ashley Gilbertson discuss his book Bedrooms of the Fallen at the Nelson Atkins Museum in Kansas City, MO. Read morePublished 11 months ago by JenZ
This is Gilbertson's second book. His first book Whiskey Tango Foxtrot took you on an Journalistic emotional roller coaster ride through the war torn provinces of Iraq,... Read morePublished 20 months ago by Steven Koves
A very moving book depicting the the the true souls of our military men and women. Our military is comprised of our those we know and love so much. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Rick L
The intimacy of this book is breathtaking, whether in the quiet richness of the photographs, or in Gilbertson's very personal account of how he came to do this project, and why it... Read morePublished 20 months ago by James Clark