Photographs by Nina Berman.
Trolley, London, 2008. 196 pp., 90 color illustrations., 7½x10¼".
Nina Berman was one of the first photographers in the US to turn her lens towards her own country, whilst all eyes were on Iraq.
She was awarded international prizes in photojournalism from World Press Photo (2005, 2007) and DAYS Japan (2005) for her work on young American veterans coming back from war, widely exhibited and published in the book ’Purple Hearts - Back from Iraq.’ Nina Berman in ‘Homeland’ has captured further the unsettling and surreal in her own country over recent years. She has witnessed the rise of the ‘super’ churches, and photographed military demos, recruitment centres and air fairs where you are never too young to have your own gun. She has
noticed spring up in towns across America, emergency committees, uniformed and primed for action against attack.
Many feel secure in the shared safety under the spangled banner of a flag. But underlying Berman’s technicolour images is a sense of fear under the guise of the banal. Surreal images from the outside - the unsettling reality is that this is now the norm for many. Even more disturbing, that these are parts of the USA today.
In ‘Homeland’ Berman is an American again looking at America. She sees the growing elements of fanaticism and faith in guns and God, creeping through a cross-section of American society. “I’ve been a documentary photographer since 1987 working in a dozen countries including Afghanistan, Bosnia, India and Vietnam. But most of my time has been spent traveling the USA trying to understand the American Way of Life.”