In the summer of 2010 I came across an ad about The War and Peace Annual Show.
Having grown up in the Middle east, I was intrigued by the title. I decided to set off to Kent were the event was held and see what it was all about. The show, which is one of the largest gatherings of it's kind in the Europe, attracts hundreds of WW2 enthusiasts, re-enactors and veterans as well as WW2 motor vehicle and memorabilia collectors. The photographs presented here are from a series of images taken over a period of 4 years while attending annual shows and other similar events in the south of England.
Participation of re-enactors in these events focuses on one of two different aspects of the lives of the soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen that were involved in the conflict. The first, known as living history, emphasises the Garrison life of the average serviceman.The other involves simulated combat between the Allied forces and The Axis. The events are open to all ages and they attract thousands of spectators every year.
The look of the encampment area was very convincing and I had the surreal feeling of stumbling upon a film set. After a few minutes of entering the event I started to pay attention to how much it was a family orientated. Exhibitors and reenactors bring their families, children and even get them involved in the activities. My views and feelings towards weapons is something that I felt I needed to express and I decided to approach the subject in a light and homouristic way alluding to the absurdity of one of our more destructive natures. It was quite distubing to see children dressed in combat gear and participating in such events although it is considered "normal" behaviour by physcologists. I am aiming to continue documenting similar events and places where war and weapons are exhibited and celebrated.