texasmonthly.com: How did you wind up going to Iraq to photograph Captain Jonathan Moss for Texas Monthly? Why did you take this assignment?
Thomas Dworzak: I had not been in Iraq since June 2005, and it was an interesting opportunity to see how things are going.
texasmonthly.com: How difficult was it to get there? What kind of planning was involved?
TD: It is all fairly well organized with the U.S. military via Kuwait. But since it is a huge machine, in the end, there are always glitches with the transport.
texasmonthly.com: Can you walk us through a typical day during this assignment?
TD: Getting up around seven in the morning, having breakfast in the chow hall, then either following Captain Moss during his meetings (mostly with Iraqis on the base), or going out to the villages, town, or An Najaf. Late lunch, meetings again, dinner before eight. In the evening, downloading flashcards, e-mailing, trying to sort out logistics.
texasmonthly.com: What surprised or shocked you while you were on this assignment?
TD: The Americanness of the life of the soldiers there keeps surprising me. Being on these bases is almost like being in America.
texasmonthly.com: What messages do your photos communicate about the Iraq war and the U.S. soldiers who are fighting?
TD: This particular case is a rather positive representation of how the war in Iraq is going. I think it is important to show a spectrum as wide as possible. Generally, I consider it important to point out mishaps, although this particular story also has a right to be told.
texasmonthly.com: You’ve covered conflict and war in Europe and the Middle East since you were in high school. What compels you to follow war?
TD: Curiosity. Being where things are happening. Overcoming my fears.
texasmonthly.com: Moss talks about this war being not just a “shooting war” but also an ”information war.” How is this war different from others that you’ve photographed?
TD: With digital photography and e-mail, it is, in a way, much closer than any conflict before. And there are many more images coming out of Iraq taken by professional photographers and soldiers.
texasmonthly.com: When do you think this war will end?
TD: Absolutely no idea.