My Brother’s War is an eleven chapter series (so far) of personal photographs reflecting my investigation into the circumstances of my brother’s early death after the war in Viet Nam. The work is about loss, healing, hope, and living in the aftermath of war – both for a veteran and for his family and friends. Gary was sent to Viet Nam at the height of the war in 1967. He arrived in Qui Nhon on November 4th. It was my 8th birthday. Honorably discharged from the army in 1969 with a “service connected nervous condition”, we later came to know his plight as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. My pre-war brother, a normal and well-adjusted person, had become, according to the U.S. Veterans Administration, 50% disabled. He took his own life about ten years later. Determined to find more information about what happened to him, I contacted his comrades 35 years after the war, traveled to a reunion of his platoon, found the home where he died, his burial place, and twice traveled to Chu Lai, Viet Nam, where Gary was stationed during the war. I used his photographs and letters to serve as my guides, sometimes combining his photographic vision with mine. The project, nearly twelve years of effort, has evolved and changed with time, using a variety of formats to tell the story. In titling this work My Brother’s War, I make reference to other families worldwide that have lost, and are presently losing loved ones to war. My works seeks to inspire, as the only alternative, a peaceful coexistence.
Jessica Hines received her BFA from Washington University in St. Louis and her MFA in photography from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She won 1st Place in the Kuala Lumpur International PhotoAwards, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 1st Place in NEXT: New Photographic Visions, Castell Photography Gallery, curated by Elizabeth Avedon, Asheville, North Carolina, The Kolga Award for Best Experimental Photography, Kolga Tbislisi Photo in Tbilisi, Georgia, Humanitarian Documentary Grant in the WPGA Annual, Pollux Awards, juried by Philip Brookman, Chief Curator and Head of Research at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington DC, First Prize in Fine Art Portfolio in the World Wide Photography Gala Awards, and Grand Prize for portfolio in the Lens Culture International Exposure Awards 2010. Her work was exhibited in the New York Photo Festival 2011 in Subjective/Objective, curated by Elisabeth Biondi, New York, New York. Hines has lectured and exhibited throughout North and South America, Asia, Europe, and Oceania.