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The White Picture - The Hidden World of Women in
A photographic exhibition giving an intimate view of life
for female soldiers serving in Afghanistan is being presented by
The Royal British Legion at the Gallery@Oxo on the South Bank in
The images highlight how
women, both British and Afghan, respond to the often austere
conditions in which they find themselves and how they maintain
their morale and individuality in the face of demanding
The photographs are a result of the photojournalist Alison
Baskerville's embedded position with British forces earlier
this year for the Legion where she had unprecedented access to the
British Army's Female Engagement Officers and women at the Afghan
National Army's Training Centre in Kabul.
The British Army's Female Engagement Officers (FEOs) work to
build relationships with Afghan women in some of the most dangerous
parts of Helmand. As interaction between women and male soldiers is
strictly forbidden in these communities, FEOs are female volunteers
from across the army who receive specialist cultural and language
training to help them carry out this role.
The exhibition is titled 'The White Picture' after the term used
to describe the effect the Female Engagement Officers contribute to
by gathering information for the wider intelligence picture, which
sits outside the usual military objectives but is vital in the
battle for hearts and minds.
Alison Baskerville commented, "Having previously served in
Afghanistan with the military, I jumped at the opportunity when the
Legion asked me to return as a photographer. I wanted to show not
only the role of the female soldiers who engage with local Afghan
women but also how these women work alongside their male
colleagues. It gave me a unique insight into the day-to-day life of
women working in a war zone and the effect it has had on them and
their ability to adapt to a highly stressful and emotionally
When: 25 October to 11 November 2012, 11.00am
Where: Gallery@Oxo, Oxo Tower Wharf, South Bank,
London SE1 9PH
Admission is free.
If you are interested in volunteering to help at this
exhibition, please contact Hanna Deans (firstname.lastname@example.org).
We expect thousands of people through the doors and we need
volunteers to man the desk alongside the photographer,
handle poppy collections, hand out flyers and let people know
about the work of the Legion.
A video of the opening of the exhibition held on Wednesday 24
October is available below and on our YouTube channel. It includes interviews
with Alison and FEOs Captains Jessica French and Anna Crossley who
feature in the photographs.
Alison will be speaking about her experience in
Afghanistan at the Gallery@Oxo on Wednesday
7 November, 2012. Click here for
more information and to buy tickets.
©The Royal British Legion 2013. Registered Charity No 219279. 199 Borough High St, London SE1 1AA. Tel +44 (0)20 3207 2100