08/04/2014 08:41 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Disturbing Photo Series Explores Targets Used For Military Training Across The World

What does "the enemy" look like to you? The answer to this question depends very much on where in the world you're standing.

Munich-based photographer Herlinde Koelbl set out to explore the idea of the enemy and the many forms through which fear and hatred manifest themselves in various locations and cultures. To do so, she captured the many appearances of targets used for military training in over 20 countries across the globe, including Mali, Afghanistan, Brazil, Germany and the United States. The resulting series, aptly titled "Targets," presents a disturbing look at the many faces of "evil," or at least the faces of those deemed worthy of killing.


"In the vast expanse of barren deserts, in labyrinths of concrete bunkers, and in mock Arab villages created by Hollywood set designers, soldiers are being taught to take aim at a great range of targets, all for the same deadly purpose," explains the overview of Koebl's photography book of the same title.

The photographs, at once objective and deeply disturbing, feature the lifeless mannequins of various human stereotypes characterized by gender, race and clothing. Germany shoots at a sea of women donning red dresses, bearing shotguns, while the U.S. aims for a man wearing a Keffiyeh.

After viewing target after target, it's not necessarily the difference in skin color or attire that stands out in the onslaught of artificial human replicas, but rather the ominous bullet holes. Koebl's somber series illuminates the arbitrary nature of hate, along with its violent repercussions. Through isolating and repeating these inanimate and often overlooked objects, "Targets" reveals the random nature of labeling humans as other. Take a look for yourself below and let us know your thoughts in the comments.