PRACTICE IN IRAQ

PRACTICE IN IRAQ

TEXT

FB prints, various dimensions, 2009.

I have lived all my life within sight and sound of the ranges, and as a child I spent hours collecting ordnance. This naive fascination, and my questioning of the romanticized cultural assimilation of war, has underpinned the project. When I would photograph I would spend all day walking through the ranges bearing all that I had read, or watched in mind. To me the landscape became fictitious, timeless, any conflict could have been won or lost here. In reality what I was photographing was the space, which in the mind of the Soldier training would (as I imagined) resemble the landscape and the reality of the conflict into which they would be deployed. The majority of what I photographed was found in that space, there was one day I spent with the MOD. The troops that I photographed were deploying from here to Afghanistan, these simulations were last minute preparations. The title “Practice in Iraq” comes from Graffiti found on an observation hut by those against the MOD using the moor to train because of its perceived damage to the ecology of the moor. I believe that training saves lives.