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Review: Who Dares Wins

Thursday 07 June 2012
Words Spindle

Who Dares Wins is a series by photographer Stephen Wooldridge. Described as a ‘fictional essay’, it depicts the lives of young men preparing for careers in the British Army, and makes a strong comment on the nature of the armed forces’ relationship with the nation’s youth.

The series is presented as documentary, yet upon closer inspection, we become aware of the construct and stylisation in the images. Notions of reality and truth are eschewed in Stephen’s framing, and we begin to realise the falsity and stage-management within the British Army’s own marketing campaigns.

Who Dares Wins makes firm statements on the nature of military recruitment’s involvement with the disillusioned working classes, and questions the validity of enlistment as a means of social mobility. Additionally, the exhibition accompaniment, printed on newspaper, presents a parallel with the tabloid press, presenting a powerful criticism of its propagandist potential.

To view the series and more of Stephen’s work, please visit http://www.stephenwooldridge.com/

Words: Jack Casey