The series “Here are the young men”(The Netherlands – Afghanistan, 2009-2010) show photos of Dutch marines deployed to Afghanistan. These marines are young boys, full of excitement and expectations who are being sent to a war zone. There they are confronted with pain, sadness and death. Will something appear on their faces of these experiences? To find an answer to this question Claire Felicie photographed the marines of the 13th infantry company of the Royal Netherlands Marine Corps,
before, during and after their deployment in Uruzgan.
At the age of four I was confronted with my mother's death. The sudden loss of a beloved family member affected me deeply even at such a young age. Ever since I have been fascinated with how we cope when we lose those close to us. What happens when our dreams or fantasies are destroyed, what makes life bearable after those tragic moments and do we find reconciliation in the end?
Inspired by my own son Tristan, who is a marine in the Royal Netherlands Marine Corps, I went to Afghanistan to portray marines for my series 'Here are the young men'. The military profession is a wonderful profession in which values such as loyalty, dedication, sacrifice, perseverance and camaraderie play a big part. But we cannot close our eyes for the dark side, which is the, often very difficult, process of coping with war experiences.
I studied History at the University of Amsterdam, raised 5 children, and am a self-taught photographer who undertakes her own projects. With my series 'Here are the young men', portraits of marines before, during and after their deployment, I got worldwide recognition. I won the Honorable Mention Award at Lens Culture with these series.This work was published on numerous websites and in magazines all over the globe.
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