Yuri Kozyrev in Kirkuk, April 2015. You never …

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Yuri Kozyrev in Kirkuk, April 2015. You never …


Neil Shea








POINT (-7913244.64959752, 5212775.3380531)

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Yuri Kozyrev in Kirkuk, April 2015. You never know what they'll be. They arrive under burden of cameras and shoulder bags, back-up drives, lenses fragile as eggs. And then all the cables and other things that might break or fail carried in nested zippered bags. Who knows but that a slow insult of sand, working deep into a body, might suddenly jam the shutter and leave it frozen like a dead man's eye? There is always a chance of insanity. Many of them have carried cameras so long it shows in coiled shoulders and constant unconscious strap-tugging. You learn them over days by the stories they tell, by where they point the lens and how they hold it. Interrogations, imprisonments, autofocus. Narrow escapes and mysterious ailments. Rangefinders. One hand, two hands, warlords, wives and exes. The good ones laugh and don't overdo it. The good ones prepare you for more and know that light and truth are not the same. With Yuri, I was always eager to hear about Russia when it was Red, when I was a boy and he was trying not to end up in the army. A few years later he would head to Afghanistan anyway but with a camera, not a rifle. As we traveled through small Iraqi towns people thought us funny, an American and a Russian, working together. We were two strange creatures never found in each other's company. Sometimes in the seas of their faces a memory would surface and one of us would have to answer for something our country had done. Yuri would laugh and light a Kent, make a joke, tug at the straps. His grin a kind of solution. He was very good at making people calm, at letting it pass right through him. #onassignment for @natgeo

#kurdistan #kirkuk #citadel #photographers #photography #russians #bw #shorttrue #trueshort #iraq #instakurd #everydaymiddleeast #photographersihaveknown @petergwin @kengeiger @yuri.kozyrev @hawrekhalid •• a series: #kurds2015





Neil Shea, “Yuri Kozyrev in Kirkuk, April 2015. You never …,” The InstaEssay Archive, accessed June 20, 2019, http://instaessayarchive.org/items/show/3652.