Battlespace: Photographs from Iraq and Afghanistan

Enter exhibition


Ashley Gilbertson

I was born in 1978 in Melbourne, Australia.

I started taking pictures of my friends—skateboarders and graffiti artists —when I was thirteen. I quickly realized that I was a better photographer than skateboarder (or graffiti artist) and sold my board for film.

Since then, I've been focused on social issues and conflict. My work has taken me to many points on the globe, including Afghanistan, Kosovo, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, and Iraq.

I spent only about six months at University, where I mainly studied parties. Most of my photographic training came from my mentor Emmanuel Santos, and later from his mentor, Masao Endo. Both of them focused entirely on the philosophical aspects of photography; technically I was on my own. I learned everything else on the job.

I've been lucky to have been honored by various organizations during my career so far. In 2004, PDN magazine included me in their "30 under 30" issue; I was awarded the Robert Capa Gold Medal for a series I shot in Falluja in 2004; and the World Press Master Class invited me to Amsterdam in 2005. I've enjoyed freelancing for The New York Times, Newsweek, and Time magazine for the last four years.

I live in New York City with my wife Joanna and our dog.

Mahdi Army soldier. Karbaba, Iraq 2004.
An American soldier watches President Bush's televised apology for Abu Ghraib. Iraq 2004. American soldiers return fire as their convoy is ambushed. Iraq.
Mahdi Army soldier. Karbaba, Iraq 2004.