Centered around the 2011 Libyan Revolution, the book Libyan Sugar is a road trip through a war zone, detailed through phone camera photographs, journal entries, and written communication with family and colleagues. A record of Michael Christopher Brown’s life both inside and outside Libya during that year, the book is about a young man going to war for the first time and his experience of that age-old desire to get as close as possible to a conflict in order to discover something about war and something about himself—perhaps a certain definition of life and death. A sample of images from the book.
Since 1985, the International Center of Photography has recognized outstanding achievements in photography with its prestigious Infinity Awards. The awards ceremony is also ICP’s primary fundraising benefit, with its revenues assisting the center’s various programs.
Harbers Studios commissioned MediaStorm, on behalf of ICP, to create a short film about each of the recipients to screen at the awards ceremony and to display online. The films pay tribute to the contributions of each artist to the craft and field of photography and demonstrate ICP’s commitment to them.
This year’s winner for Artist’s Book is Michael Christopher Brown, a photojournalist who documented the revolution and its aftermath in Libya. His groundbreaking book, Libyan Sugar, serves as a record for Michael’s time in Libya, in which he documents both the tragedies and triumphs of revolution; and the ways that it transformed a young photojournalist struggling to find his voice.
Libyan Sugar follows the journeys of photographer Michael Christopher Brown between China, Libya and his home in the United States.
First traveling to China, Michael goes on a road trip in search of an experience. In 2011 he leaves for Libya to witness and photograph the revolution. He is injured twice and loses friends and colleagues while covering the conflict.
The installation details the outer and inner experience, the destinations and motivations, of a man going to war for the first time. It reveals the anatomy of contemporary war documentary and the physical and emotional toll that it takes on the storytellers and their families.
The narrative is spanned across a book and a mixed media installation that incorporates video, images, sound and artifacts.