Injured survivors of an Iraqi Air Force helicopter crash, Sinjar Mountains, Iraq, 2014
“The drama inside the helicopter unfolded in front of my eyes, silently and in slow motion, and the last thing on my mind was to photograph it.
About two hours before taking this photograph, an eternity in my mind, we had survived an helicopter crash in Mount Sinjar that killed four passengers, including one of the two pilots. We were now aboard a second helicopter, an even older-looking replica of the one that had just gone down, being flown across Isis territory to the safety of Kurdistan.
In the past, especially when working in areas of conflict, I had adhered to a false sense of distance from my subject, one that allowed for the pursuit of a sort of superficial creativity over genuine empathy. I was just trying too hard.
I don’t particularly remember the moment I took this photograph, I suppose I took it almost unconsciously. We, the survivors inside that helicopter, all shared the same experience, an almost inexplicable feeling of being alive.”
— Moises Saman