Marked: Photographs of Soldiers Before and After Afghanistan
Dutch Photographer, Claire Felicie, took a series of photographs of 20 soldiers between the ages of 18 and 26. The project, titled “Marked“, is a unique look at soldiers before, during, and after they served a 6-month tour in Afghanistan. The 20 men are Marines, and the differences between their faces before and after they served are a stunning reminder that our country is involved in an ongoing conflict in the Middle East.
Felicie started the project when her son, Tristan, joined the Marines and told her a friend was being sent to Afghanistan. The photographs were taken over a year long period between 2009 and 2010. She hoped to capture the physical and emotional trauma the conflict had on the soldiers.
“I looked at his friend and thought how young he looked,” Felicie told The Daily Mail. “I thought, ‘Will there be a change on his face because of the war?’ I decided to portray some Marines to see.”
She took the first picture five months before their deployment. The second was snapped in Uruzgan, Afghanistan after two of their fellow soldiers were killed by an improvised explosive device (IED). The final photographs were taken in September 2010, two months after they served in the Middle East.
Felicie told The Daily Mail she hoped the project would bring greater awareness to the war, as well as to the men who risk their lives for their country.
“I respect young men who do it to protect our lives. It’s a very austere profession but very beautiful, and I’m very thankful to them,” Felicie said.