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Nina Berman

Nina Berman’s documentary photographs have received awards from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the World Press Photo Foundation, and the Open Society Institute. Her images of wounded American veterans from the Iraq War have been exhibited at the Whitney Museum of American Art 2010 Biennial, the Milano Triennale, the New Orleans Museum of Art, and Princeton University. She is the author of two monographs, including Purple Hearts: Back from Iraq.


Breathing In

Spring 2011 | Essays

That funk.

No one had to explain to Tim Wymore or LeRoy Torres or any of the other troops and contractors why they couldn't breathe.

The burn pit on Balad Airbase in Iraq had a life of its own. Black smoke and orange flames shot heavenward twenty-four seven. Big as five football fields. Ten acres easy. Lit up the whole night sky. When the seasons changed and the winds died and the air didn't move, the smoke just hung, a stagnant mass over the whole base.