Andrea Bruce is an award winning documentary photographer whose work focuses on people living in the aftermath of war. She concentrates on the social issues that are sometimes ignored and often ignited in war's wake. Andrea started working in Iraq in 2003, bringing a local reporter’s knack for intimacy and community focus to the lives of Iraqis and the US military. For over 15 years she has chronicled the world’s most troubled areas, focusing on Iraq and Afghanistan.  

For eight years she worked as a staff photographer, where she originated and authored a weekly column called “ Unseen Iraq.” Currently, she is a National Geographic Explorer and a member of the agency NOOR.

After covering failed and fledgling democracies in the Middle East, Asia and Africa, I am intrigued by the definition of democracy in my home country. I see a disconnect between US citizens, the government and how people cling to the word democracy.

Project Proposal | Our Democracy

Andrea Bruce’s project Our Democracy seeks to push people to look beyond politics and examine the social conditions that underpin our society, providing a visual record of the state of local democracy at this moment in U.S. history. Throughout the fellowship, Bruce will move and immerse herself in a different community each month, and use visual and audio storytelling to explore experiences and thoughts on contemporary democracy in the United States using Alexis de Tocqueville’s route studying democracy in the mid-1800s. The project also unfolds online, where it will be combined with an interactive map of the journey with multimedia content and data about the community’s social and political involvement.

Field Notes

Angola, IN |  Metz Volunteer Fire Department. Election Day coverage


Images from Welch, West Virginia where I am focusing on the non-voter including young disengaged voters, people in the tourism industry, as well as barriers to voting. #OurDemocracy

June was a busy month. We started in Memphis, listening to ex-offenders and current gang members and their ideas on democracy. We also spoke to members of Girls, Inc. I then traveled to Berlin to share the Our Democracy project with The Atlantic Council's 360/OS event. This was supported by the National Geographic Society.


This past month I photographed Gloucester, Maine, and how the community has come together to fight opioid addiction. Community action/responsibility was a big theme for de Tocqueville. 

I also finished a workshop for veterans in New Hampshire (sponsored by the NH Humanities Council and Pulitzer). I curated their photos examining what democracy looks like to them, and narrated their images during a presentation at the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester, NH.

Images below show veterans reading stories they wrote beside photos of them or taken by them at the Currier Museum and scenes from the reception for "What does democracy look like?", a presentation by veterans and the culmination of a workshop organized and taught by writer David Wood and myself.

Previous Work