Idea Generation Gallery, London
28th Jan – 20th Feb 2011

“Was a beautifully peaceful evening, mellowing in the sunset… Drinking tea in an opium field – as you do! Poetic…An effeminate stance against the phallic RPG rounds.” Bran Symondson

Astonishing images of the Afghan National Police as soldier returns to Afghanistan as a civilian photographer to document their daily lives and struggle against the Taliban.

As a serving soldier in the British Army, Bran Symondson became fascinated by the Afghan National Police (ANP), their ethos and their daily existence in the war with the Taliban. When he was given the opportunity to return and document these characters as a civilian photographer in 2010, he was able to capture a unique perspective on the current conflict.

Symondson’s photographs represent a side of the conflict that has remained completely untold until now. For the first time, an exhibition of his remarkable work will be on show at The Idea Generation Gallery, in images that lay bare the remarkable contradictions in the life of an Afghan policeman.

The men of the ANP preserve as well as corrupt; they must be relied upon, but can’t be trusted; they are proud of their appearance in the midst of squalor, and are curiously feminine in a world of machismo, force and power. The role of the ANP is at the heart of every contradiction, as it is their job to keep the encroaching sides apart, yet help bring Afghanistan together as a nation.

“There’s a similarity between a soldier and a photographer, 
they are both looking intensely for the moment.”
Bran Symondson

Idea Generation Gallery
11 Chance Street
London E2 7JB
T.   +44 (0)20 7749 6850

Image Credits: Guns & Roses by Bran Symondson

Graphic Design by Ishmael Annobil /  Web Development by Ruzanna Hovasapyan