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Kalpesh Lathigra June 11, 2010

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Afghanistan.
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British Soldiers, Afghanistan 2006

Kalpesh Lathigra (b.1971, London, England) was educated at the London College of Printing with a Postgraduate Diploma in Photojournalism. In 2000 he gave up working for newspapers and made the decision to work on long term projects. In the same year he was awarded the arts prize with World Press Photo. In 2003, he embarked on a long term project documenting the lives of Widows in India, receiving The W.Eugene Smith Fellowship and Churchill Fellowship. In 2005, Kalpesh started a new approach to his photographic practice merging fine art and documentary practice being primarily influenced by the American Colourists. He is currently working on the series “A State of Grace” looking a the USA since the election of Barack Obama. Kalpesh has exhibited at PhotoEspana, Noorderlicht, Savignano, Italy and Galleria Contemporaneo in Venice among others.

About the Photograph:

“This photograph was taken as part of a commission I undertook for The Guardian Weekend Magazine and is about the undercurrents of war and those who fight and live in these environments. Putting aside the politics of conflict, when you are in close proximity to these men, who are mostly aged between 18 -25, they are just normal young men reading magazines, smoking, watching tv, laughing, etc but then you also see the mental and emotionally switch when they go on patrol as soldiers. There is an infrastructure of war which is another world and it is these things I am trying to explore. These three guys were with the parachute regiment. I spent a lot of time with them and this was a quiet moment in the evening. One had just come in after having a smoke, the other was reading a letter and the last just relaxing. Take away the context of an army tent and they could be three friends anywhere in the world just hanging out.”

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