More from the Field

February 2, 2008

These b/w photos were taken with the intent to rejigger them as greenish night-vision photos, but I kind of like them the way they are.  A very different (but still accurate) tone from the color pics.

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Above is the mess hall.  I stopped eating there after the first two meals.

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A camouflage netting tent sitting around for no apparent reason.

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A view of the sleep tent.  I was sitting on my own particular cot when I took this.   Living in an almost excusively homosocial (not homosexual) environment was a very new expereince for me.  I grew up mostly around women.

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Even when the wind picked up slightly, sand would blow in under the tents, as in the above picture.  While I was there, at one point winds reached 77mph.

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Above is a page from the military Pashto survival guide I got a copy of.  The boolet is a fascinating study of what the military considers “important” words and phrases, and is going to feature largely in the thesis show.  Pashto is spoken in most of Afghanistan and part of Pakistan and is an Indo-European offshoot that uses a pretty recognizable grammatical structure but had more or less its own vocabulary.  When spoken it kind of (weirdly) reminds me of German. 

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