The life of a soldier: boredom, exhaustion and terror

Chow time as Edouard Elias shows the day to day lives of soldiers of the Légion Etrangère on operation for France in central Africa

War photography means living with monotony and fatigue as well as a real possibility of death; two photographers tell writer Gary Lee Kraut why their images are worth so much

In summer 2012, aged 21, Edouard Elias went to Syria. It is the kind of decision that can see a name going on file with anti-terrorist officials but for Mr Elias it gained him a name as a photographer willing to take the risks to cover a war zone and the know-how to bring home telling images.

The alternative, he says, would have been to do his final collège stage in a photo ID shop in France.

As he tells it, meeting photojournalist Luca Catalano Gon­zaga, founder of Witness Image, along with the inspiration of various books and documentaries, made him “eager to watch history in progress”.

He went to Syria without a commission but within months of his return to France his first photo reports were appearing in major publications.

Five years later his war photography has been published in Paris Match, Der Spiegel, Sunday Times magazine, Le Monde, Figaro Magazine, Le Point, and others.

On his website Mr Elias describes the ease with which he crosses borders. “My childhood allowed me to acquire the faculty of movement, not limiting myself to ...

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