Overseas service photography project announced

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The Department of Defense announced Nov. 8 that it seeks donations of photographs of U.S. military service life overseas from current and former service members for use in a photo recognition exhibition planned in conjunction with the State Department.

Submissions will be accepted Nov. 11 through Feb. 20, 2012.

The project, called "Serving Abroad ...Through Their Eyes," will choose images that depict six specific categories: daily life, friendship, places, faces, loss or triumph. Selected images may be used for display in a special photography exhibition planned for the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Pentagon and other prominent venues, stateside and overseas.

"It is simply phenomenal and absolutely fitting that photos by America's bravest during tough duty abroad get this sort of national recognition," said Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta. "I can't wait to see them and take part in the new conversations and relationships this is sure to inspire."

"America's Foreign Service officers and military personnel represent our country all over the world and often in the most difficult of circumstances," said Secretary of State Hilary Clinton. "This photography exhibition provides a unique view of their work to resolve conflicts and forge new partnerships and advance America's interests and values. So I am delighted the office of ART in Embassies is honoring the service of these brave men and women."

New York Times photographer Joao Silva has volunteered to convene the photo jury, which will work with a panel of noted Americans to review the photographs and announce the selections on Armed Forces Day in May 2012. The ten "Best in Show" photographers will be invited to Washington, where they will be honored and participate in the exhibition's November 2012 - VIP opening celebration.

The selection panel includes former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, retired Air Force Gen. Richard Myers, retired Marine Corps Gen. Peter Pace, retired Navy Adm. Mike Mullen and retired Gen. Colin Powell.

Renowned video artist Lincoln Schatz will create a video-audio montage of the images as a signature creation for ART in Embassies' 50th anniversary celebration with the exhibition additionally available via DOD, DOS and AIE websites and social media.

Rules, entry forms and submission guidelines may be found at http://www.ourmilitary.mil/their-eyes/serving-abroad-through-their-eyes. The Defense Media Activity will provide technical services to receive submissions and assist in screening for any operational security or privacy concerns. To help ensure suitability, entrants should consult with their public affairs officer before photographic submission is made.

This unique DOD and DOS collaboration is in conjunction with the office of ART in Embassies celebrating 50 years of international cultural exchange. The ART in Embassies program plays a vital role in our nation's public diplomacy. The ART in Embassies program was originally established by the Museum of Modern Art in 1953 and formalized by the Kennedy administration in 1962. It is one of the premier public-private partnership arts organizations in continuous operation, with a presence in some 200 venues within 180 countries worldwide.

(Courtesy of the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense Public Affairs.)