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Phlogger aka Andrew Walmsley

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Dima Gavrysh – Afghanistan, decisions & questions

Welcome to photography insights, the show that interviews people from the photography world.  I’m your host Andrew Walmsley and today we have an intellectual and thought provoking photographer for you.  Dima Gavrysh started life in Ukraine and is now living and working in the USA (near Silicon Valley). 


A man who has master degrees in cinematography from Kyiv and photography from Rhode Island (RiSD)! He’s a well travelled man who has worked as a freelance photojournalist for the Associated Press.  I first came across Dima’s work through lenscratch because of his work in Afghanistan. 

He tells us about important moments in his career like during 9/11 he was scanning in a news room and seeing what happened made him move to New York.  Dima ended up with an internship at the Washington Post as a prize for a Eddie Adams workshop.  After time he realised this had no meaning and saw the never ending war of Afghanistan in the news. That was the catalyst and volunteered to go over.  Dima talks about getting to know soldiers and the experience of them not coming back again.  The realities of war are boredom, anticipation and fear.  His take from his time was he found out lots of things about himself and had more questions that answers!

From his work in Afghanistan he’s created a book from his project called “Inshallah” – which means “god willing” and here is his artists statement

“Inshallah (“God willing” in Arabic) is a project that explores the Soviet and American occupations of Afghanistan and draws on my childhood fantasies that romanticize the military and intertwine with my past and present personal conflicts.


I create a dark fairytale filled with my fears and dreams, based on my fascination with the army’s strength and order, set on the front lines of what has become America’s longest-running war in history. Mesmerized by the complexity of the Afghan chaos, I strive to better comprehend my personal relationship to these wars: two empires, two mentalities, same battlefield, twelve years apart.”

In this one we are going to discuss:

  • technology is not important
  • destined to be doctor
  • what education did for him
  • introductions were key
  • restrictions of shooting
  • short form vs long form news
  • Prince Charles & President Obama
  • meeting Afghan elders
  • press and the military
  • being macho
  • the tech industry
  • iPhone shooting
  • reading


Website –

Book –



Please don’t forget i’ve launched the KO-FI donation page, for anyone wanting to help me fund improvements to the show.  I’m wanting to start off with a new microphone as I was correct, its already falling apart and my headphones too.



For all your c41 developing needs –

Large format cameras, medium format & accessories –

Great and affordable zines from Static Age –



During the introduction I mentioned the f/8 documentary zine – specifically the work of David Gilbert Wright. Do check it out

Extra content

I thought it was important to add some images to show some of his project work. All images copyright of Dima.