Frans Kurstjens was an active humanistic counsellor and photographer in Afghanistan from 2005 to 2008. During and after the missions he fought for the mental health of his men and himself, with his camera as an eye witness. In My green suit he tells his story and about the price he paid…
As humanistic counsellor Frans Kurstjens took photos at times and in places no other photographer will ever come. From this special position within the army unit Kurstjens constantly reflects on everything he sees and experiences. During, but especially after the mission he finds himself in a treacherous web of moral questions, memories and self-deception. What can you know for sure about what happened out there? His experiences appear to be clouded by his colleague’s traumas and stories. The conscious and subconscious self-deception used by Frans in his attempt to function normally seems to be in vain. It is assumed for a long time that he suffers from PTSS. Years later he hears about ‘moral injury’. He recognises all the symptoms.
In contrast to other books about Afghanistan, this one is not only recognisable for the ex-military and those close to them, but also for those who stayed at home. The theme is universal and interesting to anyone who is aware of his own role in the bigger picture. The ‘care-free’ Dutchman, for who news about the mission was nothing more than a newspaper article on page 2, can now experience the story from close-by: personal, stripped of all heroic, political or sensational layers. Honest, open, vulnerable and shameless.