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Shot on colour transparency film, the following two stories reflect some of my early work as an aspiring photojournalist. In 1995 I spent 3 months living with the PKK, the famed Kurdish resistance movement fighting in Southeastern Turkey, and witnesses firsthand the targeting of villages by counter insurgency operations to disrupt supply lines and dislodge rebels from their mountain stronghold. Often portrayed as terrorists, 'No friends but the mountains' seeks to put a human face to a group of people caught up in a complex gorilla war to overcome the cultural suppression of Kurdish identity.
Closer to home, 'Chin-strapped' is a tribute to the young men who joined the British Army at sixteen as boy soldiers. Not old enough to be deployed on active service, members of the junior leaders regiments trained the same as adult soldiers but over a longer period of time, affording more opportunities to develop leadership potential. Chin-strapped, a common military expression for being exhausted, is how I fondly remember my time as a boy soldier over thirty years ago.
P K K
No friends but the mountains
Life as a boy soldier in the British Army
T H E W A T E R G Y P S I E S
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