All posts tagged: military

The lasting effects of World War Two in Veterans

A young boy who became a French resistance fighter as just a teenager; a German fighter who lost an arm; a Kazakhstani field nurse; an Indian deployed to fight the Japanese in Burma; a Holocaust survivor who is today a Donald Trump supporter. Sasha Maslov’s photobook Veterans travels the world to meet with some of the last surviving servicemen and women of the Second World War, a conflict whose impact is still being felt some seven decades after the conflict finished.

2017-08-25T15:32:09+00:00

Political unrest in Thailand, in Harit Srikhao’s Whitewash

“Just a few days after the opening, soldiers entered the gallery and removed some of the photographs,” says Harit Srikhao, a runner-up in this year’s BJP Breakthrough Awards. The Thai photographer, whose series Whitewash uses the military crackdown in 2010 as its starting point, questions government control, censorship and propaganda. “You are able to talk about politics in public, but if you talk ‘bluntly’, you would be arrested,” says Srikhao.

2017-08-25T15:28:56+00:00

Dara McGrath unearths dark landscapes with Project Cleansweep

In 1942, the Ministry of Defence launched Operation Vegetarian, a series of experiments which released lethal Anthrax bombs against cattle on Gruinard Island. The weapons were more successful than even the Ministry of Defence had anticipated and the island was declared a no-go zone for decades. This is not a unique story: Dara McGrath’s photoseries Project Cleansweep investigates over 60 sites around the UK which have been used by the MoD for the testing of biological and chemical weapons throughout the 20th century.

2017-08-25T15:30:10+00:00

The traditions, biases and ranks inside modern British military spaces

Over 2014, Ross Young photographed the military barracks near his home in Belfast. Driving to work in the morning, the 25-year-old would pass the barracks, seeing scattered buildings beyond barbed-wire walls. “I became really fascinated by the modern military,” he says. “What they do, how they have changed, who they are, what they stand for now.”     The nephew of a lieutenant colonel, he gained access to the barracks and photographed everything: portraits of the soldiers, the buildings, beds, dorms, gyms and churches. But it was the communal eating areas that held his gaze. “Everything is split by rank. The junior rank, middle rank and officers each have their own spaces, and each one is visibly different,” he says. “They had such an impactful personality. They revealed so much to me about life in the Army. It shows the difference in the ranks; what soldiers have to go through to work their way up.”     He was born in Killyleagh, a suburban area to the south of Belfast, and now lives in the …

2015-11-26T17:57:11+00:00

Portraits of remembrance: glass plate photographs of British service personnel

By 1915, the scale of the horror of the First World War was becoming abundantly clear. This was the year of the Battles of Gallipoli, Ypres and Loos. In Benjamin Reeves’ photography studio in Lewes, Sussex, young sergeants, sailors, privates and lieutenants were preparing for battle in their own, deeply personal way – by having their portrait taken. These photographs were often presents, tokens to pass to mothers, fathers and loved ones in their absence. But they were also a proof of existence, of a life that might be extinguished too soon. 100 years have now passed. But in the same studio, using the same camera and even the same hand-painted backdrop, British Service men and women are having their portrait taken for the Royal British Legion’s 2015 Poppy Appeal  – and by a Reeves man, no less.  Alex Bamford, Art Director of the project, tells us that researching old portraits from the era led them to Edward Reeves Photography, the world’s longest established photographic business (founded in 1855, a year after British Journal of Photography). …

2015-11-05T13:14:28+00:00

Broader than a border: questioning notions of British territory in Cypriot land

Nikolas Ventourakis hit on the idea for Defining Lines while shooting in Cyprus, not far from the Akrotiri and Dhekelia Sovereign Base Areas, two military sites under British jurisdiction. He’d taken a few shots on his iPhone and, when he uploaded them on to his laptop, discovered that some of the images had been geotagged United Kingdom and others Republic of Cyprus, despite being shot metres apart. It got him thinking about the notions of territory and borderlines. “I’m attracted to the abstract concept of a border, which is arbitrary in every sense,” he says. “There are no border barriers or custom posts between the SBA lands and the Republic. Normal civilian day-to-day life takes place along the peninsula, right next to and inside the border. It is hard to tell if you have crossed into UK land. [But] using devices such as iPhones and services like Google Maps, the border becomes apparent and real.” Ventourakis shot for about a month in August 2014 but spent two years before that planning and researching the area. Using Google Maps …

2015-11-03T12:56:08+00:00

Looking into the eyes of Iraqi detainees

More than a decade has passed since we first saw the horrors of Abu Ghraib, but they remain seared into our collective memory. Piles of bruised, naked bodies lorded over by grinning soldiers, collared men dragged across the floor with dog leashes, triumphant posing over mutilated corpses and, most strikingly of all, a hooded man balanced in a box with electrodes wired to his fingertips. These were tortures explicitly authorised by the US Government. Their aim? To erase the humanity of the detainees. Chris Bartlett chose to address this injustice through photography, using his camera as a tool to restore the humanity and identity of the subject. The result is a powerful series of black and white portraits of Abu Ghraib detainees, accompanied by a brief explanation of the tortures they suffered. The effect is searingly humanising. Bartlett’s photography has the effect of erasing nationality, religion, class, even to some extent, ethnicity. BJP spoke to him about the genesis of the project, it’s intent and how it continues to evolve. How did the project begin? “Back …

2015-11-03T12:47:29+00:00

BJP Staff