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Open Wound: Chechnya 1994-2003
Title | Open Wound: Chechnya 1994-2003
Author | Stanley Greene
Type | Book
Rating | 10
Notes | The collapse of Russian communism in 1991 resounded to the shudder of an empire. Soviet imperialism and empiricism was dead and lands, nations and peoples would henceforth be free from the tyranny of the communist diktat. But it also sounded the death knell of a small, impoverished, forgotten land-locked state in the Caucasus which had the misfortune to be of geopolitical importance. Chechnya re-iterated its largely Muslim claim to independence from Russia, one they had first made 150 years before. Then, of course, they had no knowledge of the importance of oil; they were peasants hurling clods against the cavalry of Imperialist Russia. They do now. A blitzkrieg was launched against the Chechens in 1994, so devastating as to reduce Grozny, the capital, to a city of rubble and rats, the Dresden of the Caucasus. There followed the systematic rape and murder of the people – men, women and children – by the Spetznatz, the Russian special forces.

But the Chechens would not die. What is left in Grozny, the capital of Chechnya, is a vision of hell in the eyes of the survivors - pictured by Stanley Greene - that seems impossible to contemplate. The horrific politics of Yeltsin and Putin are reasonably comprehensible, given their roles. But what do the mothers of the Russian soldiers who have done this to Chechnya feel now about their sons? Stanley Greene's photographs in Open Wound are so powerful as to make these our responsibilities. He is unashamed to use guilt, with his painter’s eye, to relate the deeds of men in Chechnya to our own conduct.

About the Author:
Stanley Greene was born in New York in 1949. Twenty years later he picked up a camera. By 1994 he had found himself in Chechnya, in the Caucasus, amid the systematic extermination of a people and their country. In Open Wound he has shown the story of the Chechen rebellion through his eyes, necessarily clouded by one man's love for another. He lives in Paris.
Purchase/Additonal Info |

|| Member Feedback   [add your comments]
Nathan Pier Photographer / Assistant
Racine | WI | USA
Comments | [02/09/06] I just picked up this book after having it on my list for quite a while. Anyone who is interested in documentary or war photography should consider this a top prospect for your own personal collection. The photography is powerful and of the highest grade on a subject that few others, if any, have covered in the same depth as Greene. The final section of the book includes notes and contact sheets from the project which give any photographer a glimpse into the way Greene works.
Rating | 10

Tom Leininger Photographer
Lafayette | IN | USA
Comments | [04/02/04] This book represents the work of one photographer from the war in Chechnya. This war that did not get a lot of attention in America. One of the best parts of the book is what could be called the closing credits where he lists everything from a wide variety of influences, to the cameras he used. This book should be bought by everyone to affirm the sacrifices and hostilities Mr. Greene went through to produce it. This is documentary photography at its best.
Rating | 10

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