War is the plague of modern times. Losing yourself in the middle of nowhere and living under constant threats of detonations, bullets and explosions is the worst nightmare soldiers live with. Filmmaker Lalange Snow decided to bring out the devastating power of war through the series titled “We Are Not Dead.”
The filmmaker interviewed 14 members of the 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland before they were sent to Afghanistan, after three months’ service and right after they came back home.
The series is a detailed project that helps us understand how war destroys a person’s body and mind. You can actually see the trauma on their faces.
War changes and destroys people. Being so close to death is not a joke. You have to live with that feeling for the rest of your life.
Check out these photos, and pay attention to the way war changes their physical features and writes the horror on their faces. Soldiers are forced to confront enemies and death far away from home. Unfortunately, some of them end up dealing with depression, alcoholism and even commit suicide.
The first photos show nervousness and uncertainty, while second photos show what it’s like to be a soldier in Afghanistan. They are already aware of the war and the situation they are in. The last photos are confusing. You can see fear, regret and relief in their eyes. Words can’t describe these photos. Being deployed is the only way to understand what these men go through. Every soldier hopes to survive the war and go back home. That’s why they are so relieved in the last interviews. And broken. You can’t ignore that.
Private Chris MacGregor, 24
11th March, Edinburgh: “Obviously I’ll miss family but other than that I am going to miss my dogs more than anything. They are my de-stressers and keep me sane. I think I’ll miss TV too though. I try not to think about the worst case scenario.”
19th June, Compound 19, Nad Ali, after an IED incident: “Most people get used to being away from home but I find it hard. It’s your fear that keeps you alive here. But I believe if it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen and there’s nothing you can do about it. If the big man upstairs could do anything, there’d be no dead soldiers. They’d all be alive. It still hurts when you hear about a soldier dying. You think about what their families are going through. You ask what they died for and what we are achieving here. I am not sure any more. That Afghan soldier losing his legs just now… I don’t know….”
28th August, Edinburgh, after being sent home due to knee injury: “My legs just gave up. I think it was the weight – 135 pounds or something. I just had to accept, my body was telling me to give up as I had pushed it. I was telling it to go, it was telling me to stop. When squaddies come back they still have a lot of adrenaline and anger in them. I had to have anger management after Iraq. If I get like that now, I just go for a walk with the dogs. It is the best way to deal with it, instead of being all tense and ready to snap at folk. The first thing I did when I came back, apart from kissing and cuddling the misses and my bairn, was go for a massive walk with the dogs. I walked for miles and miles not caring where I stepped.”