In-Conversation: Andy Barnham, Sara de Jong, along with two Afghan interpreters — Impressions Gallery

Join photographer and British Army veteran Andy Barnham, researcher Sara de Jong, and two Afghan interpreters to learn more about  the project We Are Here, Because You Were There. Discover how photography became a tool for activism, enabling the experiences and stories of Afghan interpreters to be told.

We Are Here, Because You Were There: Afghan Interpreters in the UK is a collaborative project by Andy Barnham and Sara de Jong, which documents 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. This exhibition tells the interpreters’ experiences of employment and resettlement through portraiture and quotes, and photographs from Afghanistan.

It also includes five portraits and quotes of leading veteran activists who, through a sense of moral duty to the interpreters they worked alongside, have become political advocates for the protection and rights of their former colleagues. The inclusion of the veterans’ voices completes the title We Are Here, Because You Were There, indicating the reason why the Afghan refugees are here in the first place.

A selection of photographs by Andy, when he was on duty in Afghanistan, offer a diaristic insider perspective on military operations deployed by NATO. This completes the title We Are Here, Because You Were There, indicating the reason why the Afghan refugees are here in the first place.

Free, booking recommended via Art Tickets, or call the gallery on 01274 737843.

Impressions Gallery is a charity and we fundraise for everything we do. If you enjoy our work and you can afford it, please support us by making a donation when you book your ticket, it all counts, thanks.

Photograph: 004 We Are Here and 007 We Are Here , 2022 © Andy Barnham

Speakers

  • In-Conversation: Andy Barnham, Sara de Jong, along with two Afghan interpreters — Impressions Gallery

    Andy Barnham

    Photographer

    Andy Barnham is a portrait photographer and a British Army veteran. Born in Hong Kong he is both a child of the end of the British Empire and he is also the son of a refugee; his mother and her family fled Vietnam in the closing days of the Vietnam War finding sanctuary in the USA. ‘We Are Here, Because You Were There’ is an multi award winning project achieving recognition in Prix de la Photographie, Paris, the Monochrome Awards, the Neutral Density Awards, the Tokyo International Foto Award and was nominated for the Human Cycle of the Prix Pictet.

  • In-Conversation: Andy Barnham, Sara de Jong, along with two Afghan interpreters — Impressions Gallery

    Sara de Jong

    Professor and researcher

    Professor Sara de Jong (University of York) has researched the claims to protection and rights by Afghan interpreters and their advocates in countries involved in the Afghanistan war (2001-2021) for the past six years. Her research traces continuities between colonial and neo-imperial ab/uses of local brokers, such as interpreters, who are often indispensable but treated as expendable. It centres Afghan voices, interrogates and informs resettlement policies and connects advocates internationally. Together with three Afghanistan veterans, she co-founded the Sulha Alliance, which advocates for Afghan interpreters and other locally employed civilians employed by the British Army.