IWM’s Contemporary Conflict team develop collections relating to the causes, course and consequences of conflicts since 2001. The team focuses on growing understanding for our audiences of current, recent and future conflict that is significant to the UK. We do this by recording stories about the many ways contemporary conflict impacts upon people’s lives. The aim is to build a collection that will be as relevant in 100 years’ time as it is today.

The team’s curators specialise across media types and include exhibits, art, photo, film and documents experts. We also work together with a range of external conflict experts to shape the themes and conflicts we prioritise. We collect objects and stories, produce content, and develop public programmes, including exhibitions, that help to broaden understanding of the impact of contemporary conflict.

The team’s remit covers all contemporary conflicts that are significant to the UK and the Commonwealth. Our current priority conflicts are:

  • Afghanistan (2001 to 2021)
  • Iraq (2003 to 2011)
  • Counter ISIS operations (2014 to present)
  • Ukraine (2014 to present)

If you served during, or have been impacted by, any of these conflicts then the team would love to hear from you. We would be interested in the special or everyday items you might have used or that represent the impact the experience has had on you. We are especially looking for:

  • Photographs
  • Videos
  • Letters and emails
  • Kit and equipment
  • Uniforms or clothing
  • Diaries and journals
  • Ephemera and mementoes

Any material collected will join IWM’s permanent collection and be used now and in the future for exhibitions and displays, museum publications, digital and online content and for research.

To get in touch, please visit our donations or contact us page.

Afghanistan: Voices of Service

Image of scene at Camp Bastion, the principal British base in Helmand Province, Afghanistan during Operation Herrick XVIII (H18). Taken during a visit by members of the War Story project team. Goods being loaded onto a Boeing Chinook helicopter at the Helicopter Passenger Handling Facility known as 'Little Heathrow'.
© IWM DC 3060

Image of scene at Camp Bastion, the principal British base in Helmand Province, Afghanistan during Operation Herrick XVIII (H18).

The Imperial War Museums (IWM) and King’s Centre for Military Health Research (KCMHR) at King’s College London are seeking 100 participants to take part in a new oral history project on deploying to Afghanistan between 2001-2021. This project is also looking to hear from members of the Armed Forces community if their family member deployed to Afghanistan in the same period.

If you served in Afghanistan or experienced having a family member deploy, we want to hear from you.

Find out more in: Afghanistan: Voices of Service 

Related Stories

Men from 2 Rifles patrolling in the Wishtan area, 3 July 2009

Remembering Wishtan

2 Rifles were deployed to Afghanistan in 2009. Hear members of 2 Rifles reflect on what happened that year and how they came to terms with the loss of friends and colleagues while serving in one the most dangerous places in Helmand. 

Chris Woods of AirWars
Contemporary conflict

Drones and Modern Conflict

Chris Woods is an investigative journalist who leads Airwars, a project that tracks and records military actions in conflict zones. Hear Chris discuss the use of armed drones since 9/11 and explores how this particular type of weapon has become a ‘lightning rod’ in discussions about modern warfare.  

John Lorimer
Contemporary conflict

Afghanistan and the British Military

In spring 2014, IWM staff visited Afghanistan as part of IWM's Contemporary Conflicts Programme. In the individual accounts presented here, senior Army officers reflect on how the war in Afghanistan has affected the British military.