The woman, the moon, the snake: seventeen months in Iraq is the visual diary of Stefano Carini's experience in the North of Iraq between May 2014 and October 2015. 

I went to the north of Iraq in May 2014. I was going to a country at peace to work with the first independent Iraqi photo agency.

On the 10th of June, one month after my arrival, the city of Mosul fell into the hands of ISIS (Islamic State In Iraq and Syria), which in three days conquered hundreds of km of territories, displacing half a million people and causing one of the worst humanitarian crises since Second World War.

Furthermore, on the 12th of June, the founder and director of the photo agency was abducted by the insurgents. He has been missing ever since.

I decided to stay to work with the photographers in these extraordinary circumstances. For me there was no other solution if not doing what I knew I could do, and partly had to do. In the end, isn’t that our duty? To do what we can do when it is needed?

The seventeen months I spent in Iraq were filled with incredible events, tragedies, pain, war, successes, love, exhaustion and madness. Never before had life seemed so powerful and unpredictable. Never before had I been so close to history and its unfolding.

In these images is my personal encounter with a humanity trapped in between violence and oppression, in a land permanently entangled with war where we all clung to the simple desire for peace, love and normality.

Stefano Carini