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August 21, 2011

Eilat: Sleeping Soldiers Return


Was Tim Hetherington the one who got this sleeping soldiers thing started (here are some stills, along with Hetherington’s video which makes the war seem like a dream). In any case, Getty’s Uriel Sinai reprises the theme.

What with the disturbing cross-border attacks near Eilat this week threatening to open up a whole new dimension, and front, to the Arab – Israeli conflict, I’m troubled once again by this visual strategy.


What bothers me is the depiction of soldiers in combat, Israeli or otherwise, as innocent babes (equating warriors more closely with kittens while committing “the hell that is war” to the back burner). Given the timing, it seems some of these photos also evoke corpses — which could be taken as portentious in reference to the new instability and the two Israeli soldiers killed last Thursday.

Zimbio slideshow.

(Photos: Uriel Sinai/Getty Images. caption: Israeli army troops rest on the Israeli – Egyptian border, following yesterday’s series of coordinated gun and roadside bomb attacks against military and civilian targets, August 19, 2011, north of the Red Sea town of Eilat, Israel. Israel blamed Gaza based militants for the series of roadside attacks, near the Israeli resort town of Eilat, that left at least eight people dead and later launched Gaza air strikes in retaliation. According to reports, Hamas official, Ahmed Yousef.)

  • bks

    How dare you insult our warriors?  Oh wait, they’re Israelis.  How dare you insult our warrior allies?  Oh wait, they’re shooting at civilians.  How dare you insult our proxy war criminals?


  • Anonymous

    The top photo has a strong diagonal running from lower left to upper right. Put your hand over the bottom half, and you have sleeping babies. Put your hand over the top half, and you have a killer with his hand resting at the ready on his automatic weapon.

    I’m attaching a photo of the uncle after whom I was named. Look at that baby face! His mother signed so he could join the Army though underage. The image celebrates the occasion when he won the Silver Star for bravery. Within a week or two, he was dead, blown up by German artillery.

    The bottom photo reminds me of Matthew Brady’s pictures of dead guys during the Civil War. Or at least the photos he claimed credit for. One of the most famous was image of the dead Southern sniper, photographed by Brady’s assistant, Gardiner. And that photo was in part staged.

  • Vaughn

    Let’s not forget Capa’s sleeping soldiers, recently showcased at ICP’s Mexican Suitcase show.

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