Neil Shea


- Is there a certain shower I shouldn’t use?

- None of them. Everything here is covered with semen.

US soldier
Combat Outpost, Konar Province, Afghanistan

Short / True

Over the past several months most of my writing has been done on Instagram. This might seem counter-intuitive at first. The platform was never really designed for narratives, and the space allowed to words is small: a cellphone’s width, the face of a playing card, less. That’s the beauty of it. Pairing words with images in such a space demands more and offers a refreshing way to mix seeing with believing, image and idea. There is no nutgraf, no data slips in. Poetry, experimentation, and brevity are more the goals, and all this has helped me remember just how hard it is to write well. It’s creative compression, rooted in many old forms of storytelling. And lately it’s my favorite way to write.

A Gathering Menace

Making Taliban

Ramadi Nights

Stumbling Towards Victory in Iraq

The Revolution is

Castro's Cuba at 50

Omo River

Africa's Last Frontier

Paris Underground

What lies below the City of Lights?

Writing the Future

Dispatches from Kenya, August 2013

Wedding Crashers

Documentary work vs. Buzz kill :: Dispatch from Kenya, August 2013

We Don’t Talk About That Stuff Here

Dispatch from Iraq: How Long Does Identity Last?

“God, country. Then family.”

The View from an Iraqi Classroom :: May 2013

Al Taqaddum

Behind the Story: Looking back at Iraq