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Eric Michael Johnson: –The Afghan Syndrome


I created the series The Afghan Syndrome to reflect on the legacy of war and call into question the concept of healing. The project explores healing practices and how participation in healing traditions can contribute to individual and collective identity. In May of 2011, almost one decade into the United States' war in Afghanistan, I visited one of Russia's veteran treatment facilities, otherwise known as sanatoriums. Between 1979 and 1989, the former Soviet Union fought a war in Afghanistan, leaving tens of thousands of troops wounded, similar to the United States today. Drawn by this parallel, I was curious as to what veteran treatment looks like 20 years after a conflict has ended.

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