Anorak | British soldiers in Afghanistan ‘show effect of war’ in PTSD photos

British soldiers in Afghanistan ‘show effect of war’ in PTSD photos

by | 13th, January 2012

DOES war change you? Of course it does. But how are you changed? In Afghanistan soldier photos ‘show effect of war’ , the BBC’s Dan Cairns spots photos of British soldiers from 1st Battalion the Royal Regiment of Scotland taken in the UK and Helmand province:

The heavy toll of fighting in Afghanistan can be seen in a set of photos showing UK soldiers before, during and after their tour of duty.

Is it just the fighting that has taken its toll? The soldiers are young. They have been a long way from home and living in a war zone. They have been at work 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The photographs were taken by Lalage Snow who first encountered the soldiers during their training. She took their photos. Three months later Lalage met them in Helmand province and took more pictures.

Says Snow:

“I was really shocked at how different they looked: Red-rimmed eyes, beards, really gaunt and thin, brown, and full of sand. It really shocked me.”

Do the photograph’s convey that change? The eyes in the later photos are more narrowed. The expression is less upward. The dirt is visible.

Snow adds:

“That’s the external manifestation of the scars they bear – it’s written in their faces… They had grown up a lot. Instead of on training – where they might have been mucking around a bit more – out there it seemed to make them wake up a bit more. They were thinking: ‘This is real, this is what I’m doing. This is my job – okay get on with it.'”

You might not see what Snow sees. But these photos are geared to deliver a message.

The main aim of the photos is to shed extra light on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a subject that’s been covered by Newsbeat.

None of those photographed is suffering from the condition. Lalage Snow says she wanted to highlight how PTSD can emerge years after combat.

Snow adds:

“The thing that is most important from the project is the PTSD thing, which I don’t think many people are aware of. Boys in the Balkans are now getting PTSD, wars from 10-15 years ago.”

We are aware of it. We know

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Posted: 13th, January 2012 | In: News Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink