For many of us, it is impossible to imagine what it would be like to fight in a war. For many of those who have had to, it is impossible to forget. That is the truth photographer Lalage Snow revealed when she documented the faces of several British soldiers before, during, and after their operational deployment in Afghanistan. The series, called “We Are The Not Dead,” spans a time period of eight months. Along with the photos, each soldier expressed his or her thoughts and feelings at that time, which appear as captions with each portrait on the artist’s website.
According to Snow’s artist statement:
It was a very personal project and stemmed from having embedded with the military on and off for 4 years in Iraq and Afghanistan and bearing witness to how many young men return as shadows of their former selves and, in many cases, with deep, psychological scars. As the body count of British servicemen killed or wounded rose and the political ramifications of the British army’s presence in Afghanistan became increasingly convoluted, more and more soldiers felt like they didn’t have a voice, or at least, weren’t being listened to. ‘We Are The Not Dead’ is an attempt at giving the brave young men and women the chance to explain how it really is.
Private Ben Frater, 21: “I am afraid of not coming home. I’ll miss my weekends, going out partying with friends.”
Private Steven Anderson, 31: “We try and go there to win their hearts and change their minds… but those people are living until 45 and dying as there’s so much poverty and not the medicines to treat them. And they put different value on life.”
Private Becky Hitchcock, 23: “My civvie friends think I am brave but I don’t see it like that at all.”
See more images and each soldier’s full story at ABCnews.com