Matthias Bruggmann
An Act of Unspeakable Violence
Editions Xavier Barral / Musée de l’Elysée
Musumeci Offset printing
332 pages
ISBN 978-2-36511-186-7

English or French Edition: please specify when placing your order.


One of the few Western photographers to cover the Syrian conflict since 2012 and over five years, Matthias Bruggmann has crossed the entire country meeting with the different players of this crisis. Attempting to bring, to Western viewers, a visceral comprehension of the intangible violence that underlies conflict, he immerses us in the complexity and horror of this war by multiplying the points of view. The book presents first a flow of explicit images not knowing who is on which side and who the author is as Matthias Bruggmann confuses the reader by mixing the sources. He questions the codes of photojournalism and shifts the dividing lines between documentary and art photography.

The photographs are then contextualized with detailed captions written by Matthias Bruggmann and with five essays by independent experts: Issam Abdelrahim, Syrian journalist; Rania Abouzeid, Australian journalist of Lebanese descent, specialist of the Middle East; Mazen Bilal, Syrian journalist; Amjad Farkh, Syrian dentist, ex-member of the Free Syrian Army groups, working in the humanitarian sector; Labib Nahhas, activist in exile, ex-head of foreign political relations for the conservatively religious insurgent group Ahrar al-Sham; Nir Rosen, American journalist, specialist of the Middle East, and humanitarian advisor.