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A Monthly Culture Matrix For the Cosmopolitan Traveler

An-My Lê: On Contested Terrain


Carnegie Museum of Art / Pittsburgh / Art

“I am not a war photographer,” said An-My Lê, who fled her native Vietnam as a refugee during those bleak years of war. “I find it much more interesting and much more slippery to work with a side-glance view.” What she means is that she uncovers what is often overlooked—the disconnect between public perceptions of war and a war’s realities. In powerful stills and videos, Lê depicts everyday existence in the military—training, maneuvers, and re-enactments. Her objective? To connect viewers to conflict, not alienate them from it. The battlefield isn’t as far away as we like to think. —E.C.

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