IWM North hosts illustrator’s post-war Afghanistan show

Imperial War Museum North is to host an exhibition by illustrator George Butler depicting life in Afghanistan.

Butler, a journalist and reportage illustrator says: “These drawings purposefully show life a pace back from the violence: people washing for prayers, shopping, farming, building, learning and living.”

It is the first time the works have been exhibited. They were all drawn in the weeks following the withdrawal of the International Security Assistance Force, a Nato-led mission which saw troops on the ground from 2001 -2014.

WithDraw at IWM North by George Butler
WithDraw at IWM North by George Butler

This wheelchair basketball match was organised by the International Committee of the Red Cross’ prosthetic limb project and shows patients and workers playing wheelchair basketball.

WithDraw at IWM North by George Butler
WithDraw at IWM North by George Butler

The illustration of this young boy Sohrab shows him holding birds for sale. “It’s not an unusual site on Bird Street” says Butler who drew the boy with his pigeons, “which he kept trying to stuff into his pockets.”

WithDraw at IWM North by George Butler
WithDraw at IWM North by George Butler

This sketch shows the headmaster of a local girls school in Worsaj.

WithDraw at IWM North by George Butler
WithDraw at IWM North by George Butler

This scene shows teacher training in Worsaj and Butler says it depicts “women aged between approximately 23 and 33, some with children who are welcome at school. There is a real buzz and a willingness to learn in the room. English grammar is the lesson today, given by a teaching consultant called Hadji.”

WithDraw at IWM North by George Butler
WithDraw at IWM North by George Butler

A young policeman. Butler says: “At the police station I managed to communicate to him that I’d like to draw him and he lay on the top bunk whilst I did.”

WithDraw is free and runs from 21 February-6 September at IWM North, The Quays,Trafford Wharf Road, Manchester, M17 1TZ

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