Vt. author releasing ‘Syria Before War’

Kevin Bubriski 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.

Unbeknownst to him, 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, teeming with merchants and artisans. He also captured images from the Dead Cities, the basilica of St. Simeon, the pilgrimage sites of Serjilla, al-Bara, Kharab Shams, Baqirha, Qalb Lozeh, Resafa, early Islamic sites near Raqqa, and the ancient Roman trade cities of Apamea and Palmyra.

Bubriski recalls a special sense of discovery and awe being in a place of such rich history and haunting beauty.

He remembers holding his breath and seeing the ruins take shape through his Hasselblad camera as he gathered and preserved these sites forever in photographs.

Bubriski’s photography is in permanent collections at the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris.

Bubriski lives with his wife in Vermont.