1. Could you give us a brief introduction to ‘The Grey Line’ and how the project began?
In 2007, when on assignment in Indiana, USA, I met Robert, a 19-year-old man who had decided to go AWOL from the army rather than go back to Iraq with his regiment. Six months earlier Robert had applied for, and been denied, Conscientious Objector status.
To the elderly couple who took him in when he went into hiding, Robert was a hero - having the courage to act on his beliefs at the expense of personal safety. To his family though, he was a disgrace – and as she dropped him off at the airport for him to go into hiding, Robert’s sister called the FBI and turned him in. He was subsequently imprisoned for 7 months.
My time with Robert moved me, and I became interested in the notion of soldiers being morally opposed to the Iraq war. As I looked into it more, I discovered a growing movement of young men and women who had chosen to fight for their country but questioned what they were being ordered to do. The legality of the war was being disputed internationally but that did not change the grave penalties for soldiers objecting on moral grounds.
And so the project began.
The Grey Line is a reflection on war told from the perspectives of UK and US soldiers who have spoken out against the Iraq War.
2. How has the Firecracker grant helped you to get this project off the ground?
I had almost completed the project when I won the fire-cracker award, I was probably about ¾ of the way through, but I hadn’t shown the project to many people, other than friends and family. So the fire-cracker award helped to get the work out there and to be seen by people within the photography industry. It was also a huge endorsement for me, and helped me push through and finish the project in time for the deadline we’d set ourselves – publication by March 2013 to mark a decade since the invasion of Iraq.
Portrait of the owners of LN-CC for The New York Times
Josephine De La Baume, Telegraph Magazine
3. You also have a commercial agent, how do you balance commercial and personal work?
Getting the balance between personal and commercial can be hard, but I can’t do one with out the other. My commercial work funds my personal work, and at the same time, I often get commissioned for commercial work off the back of my personal projects. I like doing both, and it helps to keep a balance and perspective on things. My agency, Webber Represents, are hugely supportive of personal work.
New York Time T cover
4. And finally a foodie questions, what’s your best recipe?
I’ve recently been testing a new lamb tagine recipe. Its brilliant and very easy! Would you like the recipe?
All Images Courtesy Jo Metson Scott
If you wish to obtain a signed copy of the book, Jo has kindly agreed to bring along a few copies to Start Up event and even more generously we have agreed a special ‘Start Up’ price of £25 instead of the normal £35. For one night only!
If you cannot make the event, but are interested in the book, you can get it online here direct from Jo herself.
ABOUT START UP PHOTO TALKS
Good ideas are plentiful, making them happen is the hard (and rewarding) bit. Connect and learn from photographers ‘who have done it’, meet like minded creatives and share your ideas and projects.
Each talk has limited spaces (30) so get your tickets early.