During the American-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, Christoph Bangert was still attending photography school. Only later, in the spring of 2005, when the Iraqi insurgency and sectarian violence reached its first peak, Westerners were kidnapped and beheaded, and most foreign journalists had left the country, did he start to work in Iraq on assignment for The New York Times.
The overtly hostile environment in Iraq towards foreigners, without regard of the individual’s intention or affiliation, restricts the freedom of journalists, particularly photographers, who (unlike writers) must be physically present in order to get the story. Despite these conditions, Bangert remained in Iraq as one of the few Western photographers committed to cover the war throughout 2006 and early 2007. He has worked largely independently from the military, collaborating with Iraqi guards, drivers, and translators, but was also embedded with American, British, and Iraqi forces. Iraq: The Space Between records the distance he traveled as a civilian between worlds committed to destruction in the name of freedom.