This article originally appeared on VICE France.
As an aspiring war photojournalist, 25-year-old Scott A. Laurent has already immersed himself in the field. After graduating from art school in Marseille, he followed in his dad’s footsteps and enrolled in the French army in October of 2017.
For the past three years, Laurent has been on missions in the Sahel region, including in Chad and Niger, and in trainings in France. His candid shots show the day-to-day rigmarole of being a young soldier, defined by boredom, tension and the routine tasks which fill the long waits between operations.
Laurent says the French army has a bit of a social media problem, with soldiers often posting selfies while on mission and compromising sensitive information. “If you compare 30 friends on holiday in Brazil and 30 soldiers stationed in Niger, they’ll come back with the same amount of photos,” he says. But before leaving for his first mission, he asked permission to take his analogue photography kit and his superiors agreed.
Currently back to civilian life, Laurent is waiting for the pandemic to be over before he can head out to conflict zones and embark on a photojournalism career, armed with inside knowledge. In the meantime, he’s working on a book – a photographic memoir of his life as a young soldier.
Scroll down to see his pictures.