chapter  10
Frames and the Interpreter in the Imperial War Museum Photographic Archive
ByHilary Footitt
Pages 11

The Second World War was a watershed moment in the use of cameras to record armed conflict. As the war went on, nearly every Allied fighting unit in the field had its own basic team consisting of a stills photographer and a cine photographer. Recent work on languages in war has identified representative situations in which interpreters typically operate in wartime, communicating with clandestine forces, liaising between the army and civilians, and dealing with the aftermath of war, and the images which follow have been chosen from the Imperial War Museum (IWM) archive in order to explore each of these potential contexts for interpreter activity. The Royal Air Force (RAF) serviceman looking away into the distance is gazing over what had become in effect British territory for the duration of the war. Around the encounter in the photograph, there is likely to have been a host of other tents and British personnel.