The torture and abuse of Iraqi detainees by American military personnel at the Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad, graphically captured on camera, sent shockwaves around the world and stained the credibility and image of the United States. The images struck a painful chord with photographer Antonin Kratochvil, a Czech refugee who fled to the United States and whose father was tortured and humiliated in a Stalinist labor camp.
Following in the footsteps of the great Colombian painter Fernando Botero, who has depicted in a series of new works the prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib, Kratochvil has used his lens to graphically recreate the humiliation suffered by naked, bound and hooded Iraqis. Like Botero, Kratochvil says his intent is to emblazon the images upon the consciousness of the world.
The essay is dedicated to his father.
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