Only The Sky Remains Untouched
Photographer Claire Felicie gained worldwide fame through her photo series ‘Here are the young men’: black and white portraits of young Marines before, during and after the time they had been dispatched to Afghanistan. In her work she investigates in particular the consequences of war for those who have to fight it. Her series Only The Sky Remains Untouched consists of 15 portraits of soldiers with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and pictures of interiors and exteriors of the former weapons factory in Zaandam; the Hembrug. This dilapidated factory is a symbol for the former soldiers’ suffering. Bare-chested and wearing camouflage pants, they are lying on wooden stretchers in the dismantled space of the weapons factory. The parts of their uniforms show one half of their identity, a shared identity as a proud member of the Dutch armed forces. Their uncovered bodies show the other half, that of a human individual, vulnerable and alone.
Designer Sybren Kuiper has brought this series together in an unorthodox manner in the photo book of the same name.