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Off Planet Detention Centre

Location: Iraq

Brief: Capture images that show the imprisoned nature of British soldiers working in Iraq

Commissioned by: self-commissioned

After photographing the invasion of Iraq in 2003 as an embedded photographer with the Royal Marines, I returned in 2005 to run a combat camera team.

Two years after the initial invasion, the US/UK occupation of Iraq had become an uncomfortable stalemate. Trapped inside huge fortified bases and armoured vehicles by increasingly hostile and well-armed insurgents, soldiers conducted mundane work patterns and slipped into oblique personal routines within the vast alien environment of Iraq.

Intimate moments – sunbathing, desperate graffiti, days-to-do marked on a calendar, a lover’s photograph, satellite phone calls home – were offset by dangerous night patrols and the repatriation of lost comrades.

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