Photographer Jane Stockdale‘s United Nations troop photography captures the men and women in uniform of the UN immersed in their work, but do not come across like your typical, newsy, reportage images. Stockdale instead takes on a more inventive, artistic approach.
Beautifully-shot images of patrol ships, descending aircraft, control rooms, a machine gun as well as view from a cockpit do not have any of the usual foreboding tones prevalent in military-themed photos. This is perhaps due to the diverse background of Stockdale, who is a veteran of assorted projects. Among those was work such as one that focused on the British survival competition ‘Tough Guy,’ or her documentation of a samba group in Rio. This one being her latest subject features the work of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, or UNIFIL. The key purpose of the UN troops is described as “patrolling the coastline, trying to stop the smuggling of illegal shipments and armaments getting into Lebanon.”
Stockdale is able to strip the images of the perilous natures of these patrols, as she documents the troops and war ships in a way that can be only described as being anesthetized from any danger. There is communicated instead a sense of security embodied in every image, these after all being more of a peace-keeping contingent.
The UNIFIL was originally formed by the United Nations, with the adoption of Security Council Resolution 425 and 426 in March 1978, to substantiate Israeli removal from Lebanon which Israel had invaded five days earlier. It is also meant to re-establish international peace and security, and help the Government of Lebanon bring back its effectual authority in the area.
The initial UNIFIL troops were deployed in the area in1978. UNIFIL’s purpose was chiefly to provide humanitarian aid. Its mandate is renewed by United Nations Security Council yearly, and its existing mandate expires August 31, 2014.
See Stockdale’s images of the UNIFIL in her website.