Open wound: Chechnya 1994 to 2003
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, and forgotten land-locked state in the Caucasus which had the misfortune to be of geopolitical importance. Stanley Greene's photographs in Open Wound are so powerful as to make Chechnya our responsibility. He is unashamed to use guilt, with his painter's eye, to relate the deeds of men in Chechnya to our own conduct.
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Open Wound: Chechnya 1994-2003User Review - Book Verdict
Chechnya is a distant but persistent horror. It is also an enigma: a remnant of the Soviet Union fighting a ragtag war for independence, it is also home to many fundamentalist Muslims seeking a wider war of terror. Its war is a particularly violent and inhumane battle fueled by relentless hatreds. Taking sides is difficult, but American-born photographer Greene does so with ease, favoring the Chechen rebels in his text and his choice of subjects for this photographic look at a decade of a war that has no end in sight. Greene's 81 (mostly b&w) photographs are grainy and raw, showing that life is cheap in a place where the principal city, Grozny, and many villages are rubble, occupied by edgy squatters, rebels, and Russian troops fighting with a random and deadly choreography for survival and control. The images of the Chechen wounded or dead, followed by brief text accounts of their suffering, place the photographs in the context of war. Also included are a brief chronology of Chechnya from 1800 to 2003, a list of 42 journalists who have died or disappeared there, and a glossary of images with detailed captions. Recommended.-David Bryant, New Canaan P.L., CT ...