A photographer from Vermont and another from New York will each be releasing next year a book of photography following time spent in the Middle East.
Kevin Bubriski’s “Legacy in Stone: Syria Before War,” will be made available in January, and Joey Lawrence’s “We Came From Fire: Kurdistan’s Armed Struggle Against ISIS” will appear in March.
Bubriski, who lives in Vermont, was on assignment in Syria in 2003, during the infancy of the U.S. war in neighboring Iraq. He was photographing the country’s ancient monuments, as well as documenting the daily lives and ordinary human stories of its citizens.
Within a decade, war would break out in Syria and damage or destroy much of what he had photographed. Bubriski photographed the Suq in Aleppo — a place of commerce — while it was still thriving; the Dead Cities; the basilica of St. Simeon; pilgrimage sites ; early Islamic sites near Raqqa; and the ancient Roman trade cities of Apamea and Palmyra.
“We Came From Fire: Kurdistan’s Armed Struggle Against ISIS” is a collection by Lawrence, created during four trips spent amongst Kurdish fighters in the chaos of the Iraq War and Syrian Civil War.
The ancient homeland of the Kurds, an ethnic minority of an estimated 40 million people, is carved up across Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran.
With little official government support and only light weapons, brothers, sisters, former university students and refugees who once fled their homes have now taken up arms together against radical jihadist groups . During his time in the region, Lawrence watched as ragtag volunteer guerrilla fighters, many of them women, grew into a fully functioning army, becoming the U.S.-led coalition’s partner — now known as the Syrian Democratic Forces.
Lawrence is a Canadian-born photographer and director based in Brooklyn. In 2015, he set off to the Kurdistan region of Iraq and Syria to begin a new personal project that would lead to the release of the 2017 documentary “Born From Urgency,” and, ultimately, “We Came From Fire.”