A collaborative project by photographer Andy Barnham and researcher Sara de Jong, documenting the experiences of Afghan interpreters who were employed by the British Army in Afghanistan between 2004 and 2021, and resettled to the UK in 2021.
We Are Here, Because You Were There: Afghan Interpreters in the UK is a collaborative project by photographer and British Army veteran Andy Barnham and researcher Sara de Jong. It documents the experiences of Afghan interpreters who were employed by the British government in Afghanistan and recently resettled to the UK.
The exhibition centres the interpreters’ own stories and invites viewers to engage with the individuals, their families and the human stories behind the headlines.
Barnham uses strategies of blurring and pixelating to help anonymise the interpreters who are still considered at risk and have family in Afghanistan under threat. The quotes are extracts from interviews conducted by de Jong. They cover the interpreters’ motivations for working with the British Army, and the threats they faced in Afghanistan. They also address their evacuation, their early experiences in the UK, and their hopes for the future.
The exhibition premieres five portraits of key veteran activists who, through a sense of moral duty to the Afghan interpreters they worked alongside, have become political advocates for the protection and rights of their former colleagues.
A slideshow of photographs by Barnham when on duty in Afghanistan, offer a diaristic insider perspective on military operations deployed by NATO. Their inclusion completes the title We Are Here, Because You Were There, indicating the reason why the Afghan refugees are here in the first place.
How to get there
Impressions Gallery, 7 Aldermanbury, Centenary Square, Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD1 1SD
Tuesday to Saturday: 10am to 5pm
Closed on Sunday, Monday and Bank Holidays.
Exclusions and safety measures
Hand sanitiser is available in key areas, along with increased cleaning regimes in toilets and other high-use areas.
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