Andrew Youngson’s series, The Devil’s Garden, documents Bedouin communities living amidst Second World War minefields in Egypt’s Western Desert. It is estimated that approximately 17 million unexploded anti-personnel and anti-tank mines; artillery shells; bombs dropped by aircraft and machine gun, small arms and mortar rounds remain beneath the sand.
The Western Desert is an area rich in natural resources but whereas areas allocated for luxury beach resorts and Petroleum Company compounds have been cleared of unexploded ordnance, Bedouin land has not benefited from such programmes. Official records of incidents involving UXO have not been kept until recently but it is believed thousands of Bedouin have been killed or injured since the end of the Second World War.
Youngson is based in London and his new book, Aida, will be published by Black Box Press in July 2012.