31 Jan, 2022
In times of conflict and war, the eyes of the world look on in terror, as destruction rampages.
But once the dust is settled, the people must live on. In this intimate work, portraits are shown of people, marked by war, freed of the context of location, as conflicts roam globally - yet their humanity shines on, their defiance, their hope and hunger for life.
"Despite all they suffered, they often said they would go back to the fight again if ever called. They would do this for their children, their families, their people, and the wider world."
"At the end of 2019, I started on this long-term project documenting the sacrifices of Kurdish Peshmerga in the fight to put down ISIS. Speaking with hundred Peshmerga, taking intimate portraits of the wounded fighters, their families, and documenting both the stories in the battle and their ongoing struggles to navigate post-conflict life. Through the work, I found stories of immense suffering. Fighters who took up arms, not because they were required to do so, but because it was right and it was what had to be done. These men, often fighting side by side with brothers, uncles, cousins, fathers, and sons, knew that the freedom and survival of their people were at stake.
Almost all of the men showed severe physical injury. Arms, legs, and eyes lost. Bodies so riddled with bullet and shrapnel wounds that simple movement created wincing pain. These men also showed the signs of the heavy burdens of the mental traumas, of PTSD, and of memories that would not leave them. " YM
Younes Mohammad, born in 1968, in Dohuk, is a Kurdish photographer. He is currently based out of Erbil. He works as a freelancer on assignments for newspapers and magazines. Although he has had a life-long passion for photography he was unable to pursue it due to the war - ultimately, he spent much time in Iran as a refugee from 1974 to 1998. He graduated with an MBA from the University of Tehran. In 2011, he quit his job and started his journey as a photographer. His work has been exhibited internationally and published widely in publications and he is the recipient of multiple awards.