Bedrooms of the Fallen

Australian photographer Ashley Gilbertson captures the abandoned rooms of dead American soldiers.

In Iraq and Afghanistan, American soldiers die almost daily, often at a young age. These boys and girls not only leave family and friends, but also their bedrooms behind in the family home. Boys and girls rooms full of their belongings that will never be touched again.
Australian photographer Ashley Gilbertson of the VII Photo agency captures these abandoned rooms. According to him, the painful absence of the soldiers who died too young shows the true face of war.

Tim and Timo's childhood rooms

Ashley Gilbertson had just completed a portrait series of US President Obama when he arrives in the Netherlands for the sequel; "Bedrooms Of The Fallen". The photographer wants to capture the abandoned bedrooms of soldiers who died too young all over the world, beginning in the Netherlands. The exhibition in Tot Zover shows the childhood rooms of 20-year-old Amsterdam resident Timo Smeehuijzen and those of 20-year-old Tim Hoogland from Vroomshoop, who both died in Afghanistan in 2007. The two rooms look as if the owner may walk in at any moment, meaning his absence can be permanently felt.


Erik Kessels 'Bedrooms Of The Fallen' is the third in a series of exhibitions curated by guest curator Erik Kessels for Museum Tot Zover. Earlier these were 'Funeral Train' by Paul Fusco and 'Trace Elements' by Seiichi Furuya. Kessels (1966) is co-founder and creative director of communication agency KesselsKramer and has previously published photo books and magazines such as "In almost every picture", "Wonder", "Bangkok Beauties" and "Useful Photography".

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