Please join us with documentary photojournalist and author JT Blatty on the 2nd anniversary of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine for a presentation and booksigning celebrating the launch of her new book, SNAPSHOTS SENT HOME: From Afghanistan, Iraq, Ukraine—A Memoir.
Like many post-9/11 combat veterans, JT Blatty struggled to regain her sense of purpose in the years returning home from Afghanistan and Iraq. Then, in 2018, a chance encounter brought her to Ukraine as a documentary photojournalist, drawn in by the familiarity of war and those who serve in wars. She discovered Ukraine’s volunteer soldiers, a tribe of revolutionaries, ordinary men and women, most without military training, who in 2014 self-deployed to the War in the Donbas in eastern Ukraine.
Over five years, as she embedded with them on the front line in bunkers and forests, and in Kyiv flats, creating a photographic/audio archive, JT's story began to blend with theirs in a universal bond of combat veterans, compelling her to stay as a new war began.
“… Snapshots Sent Home is an intimate, finely-written memoir about the truths and realities shared by soldiers everywhere. Moving between the author’s experiences in Ukraine, where she lives and works as a photographer, and before that in Iraq and Afghanistan, where she served as a US military officer, Blatty ruminates about the nature of comradeship, patriotism, longing, loss, life and death; memory and love. ‘Butterflies on fire’ is a phrase that makes a debut too, but you will have to read this devastatingly moving book to understand its meaning. Snapshots Sent Home should be read by anyone who cares about what we do on history’s battlefields, and about how we process what we have done afterwards. This is a lot more than a book about snapshots. And JT Blatty is a lot more than a photographer and former soldier. She is a helluva writer too, and I am certain that what she says here will stay on in readers’ minds for a long time to come.” —Jon Lee Anderson, staff writer, The New Yorker; author of Che Guevara and The Fall of Baghdad
Jenn Tuero (J. T.) Blatty, documentary photographer, photojournalist, and writer, graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 2000 and served six years as an active-duty U.S. Army officer, deploying with the first troops into Afghanistan following 9/11 and again into Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom. After completing her service to the military, she pursued freelance photography and writing as a career, working as a regular contributor for the New Orleans Advocate and as a FEMA disaster reservist photographer after completing an internship with National Geographic Traveler. Since early 2018, she has been documenting the conflict in eastern Ukraine while simultaneously creating photographic/audio archive of the 2014 volunteer soldiers of the Donbas, the revolutionaries who self-deployed during the original Russian invasion of the Donbas and saved Ukraine's independence. A 2021-2022 Ukraine Fulbright alum, Blatty continues her photojournalistic work in Ukraine. She is also the author of Fish Town: Down the Road to Louisiana's Vanishing Fishing Communities, a 2020 winner of a Bronze IPPY Award as Best Regional Non-Fiction in the South.
US combat veteran and photographer JT Blatty journeyed to Ukraine in 2018 to capture oral history and portraits of Donbas volunteer soldiers. In frontline bunkers and Kyiv flats, her story began to blend with theirs in a universal bond of combat veterans, compelling her to stay as a new war began.
Fish Town is an inspired documentary project focused on preserving, through photography and oral history recordings, the cultural and environmental remains of southeastern Louisiana's fishing communities.