‘When I look into the abyss of the past five years, it is not black’


General Photography

“In the hallway of a hospital in Kirkuk I am photographing Mahmood al-Obaidei, who has a hive of hospital workers battling to keep him breathing after his body was devastated by a roadside bomb detonated near his shop. Though I am making photographs it is not the images I remember from this moment. I remember hearing Mahmood trying to breathe. The hospital workers throw the paddles of a defibrillator on him. Two shocks to the chest and his pulse again give a weak beep on the monitor. There is a brief sign of life. The paddles are readied again. Then darkness. The power in the hospital has gone out. The staff members groan as they stand in place waiting for the power to return. In a moment the generator kicks on and the machine has to be recharged. A jolt blasts Mahmood’s chest. Nothing. The moment to save his life has passed. And I remember hearing only my own breathing.” - Max Becherer