La Légion Étrangère
The Foreign Legion has historically been known as a mysterious brotherhood with undisclosed background.
The French foreign legion has a history of being one of the only military forces that is comprised of mostly foreign nationalities. Dating back around 200 years, it was created for much the same reason Australia was – a chance for the dregs and deadbeats of society to redeem themselves.
This opportunity took them far away from home to a place they had possibly never heard of, or even knew existed. They were sent to war for a country they had no connection to, fighting alongside criminals - petty and extreme - but either way, not exactly people who you would normally trust to stand hand in hand with. And for what purpose?
To reinvent themselves. They came from a place where they were unwanted, where nobody would care if they were ever seen again. Upon this common ground, a brotherhood was formed; a support system once thought lost to these men grew and bound them together. They formed unique friendships in a unique situation in which the fewest of people will ever find themselves.
These men were placed in foreign countries alongside men from all different nationalities, each one signed to a five-year contract. Over these five years they had no choice in friends or actions; they were trapped with the men around them, serving together by duty and commitment. In the legion, everyone was equal - nobody was classified by their crime. All men were legionnaires, fighting to fit in again.
In the Legion, they were no longer misfits from society, they had a common cause and shared experience. The brotherhood and its willingness to sacrifice for its uniformed brothers is both intriguing and admirable and serves to inspire us for this collection.