For many of us, it is impossible to imagine what it would be like to fight in a war, and for many of those who have had to it is impossible to forget. Photographer Lalage Snow documented the faces of several British soldiers before, during, and after their operational deployment in Afghanistan. The series of photos, called ‘We Are The Not Dead’, spans a time period of eight months. Along with the photos, each soldier expressed his/her thoughts and feelings at that time and these were used to caption 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.
Above: Private Ben Frater, 21: “I am afraid of not coming home. I’ll miss my weekends, going out partying with friends.”
Below: Private Chris MacGregor, 24: “Most people get used to being away from home but I find it hard. It’s your fear that keeps you alive here.”
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.”
See more images and each soldier’s full story at ABCnews.com