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The Photo Issue 2006

Walking Across America By Aaron Huey

It says, "What nourishes me also destroys me."
Κείμενο Aaron Huey


It says, “What nourishes me also destroys me.” Veterans Day in the town of Versailles, Indiana. I watched speeches and prayers and 21-gun salutes, then drank a few beers with the VFW crew. Here, a local high school cheerleader stands at attention during a ceremony to honor the war deaths of Versailles. I found these guys at a crossroads on the Whiteriver Apache Reservation in Arizona. There wasn’t much conversation, just a silent pause on a cold, sunny day. This is Oweena. He lives in a tiny trailer in the desert outside Bernardo, California. He was born Owen, but one day when he was little his father came home and caught him dressed up in girls’ clothes and makeup, so he ordered his mom to throw out all his boy clothes and start treating him like a girl as punishment. As you can see, the plan kind of backfired. Yayo is a 17-year-old member of the Insane Gangster Satan’s Disciples gang in Chicago. The Satan’s Disciples were constantly in gun fights with the Vice Lords, whose territory was literally right across the street. The Disciples cannot leave their neighborhood without being shot at, and no one can enter their territory without being shot at as well. The gang shares a dozen or so guns which are used in nightly homicide attempts. Yayo is checking a gun to go do a patrol. After this shot was taken they started planning a murder in front of me. The place got raided later and they all thought I was a cop. Tank, the kid who brought me in, got the shit kicked out of him and I got the hell out of town. The yellow bags by the TV are full of crack and bullets. Around the time of the Battle of Fallujah I started watching an Iraq War death counter website that showed where each fatality lived. I decided to start photographing the funerals near my home in Seattle. Every week or so someone from Washington or Northern Oregon died in Fallujah. This grave here belongs to a sergeant who was killed near Mosul. He was 24 years old. His wife was eight months pregnant at the funeral.

Aaron Huey