NEWS
18/06/2012 11:12 BST | Updated 18/06/2012 11:17 BST

Colonel Gaddafi Photos Depicting Dictator's Tyrannical Reign Go On Display For First Time In London (PICTURES)

Photographs, documents and artefacts from the reign of Muammar Gaddafi are to go on display for the first time in London, giving a new perspective into the country during the tyrant's rule.

The exhibition, named 'The Gaddafi Archives - Libya before the Arab Spring', has been put together by Human Rights Watch, for June's London Festival of Photography, at Slade Research Centre in London's Woburn Square.

The gallery includes rare images of Gaddafi with politicians and friends, cataloguing his 30-year grip on the country.

Beginning with the reign of King Idris, the collection of over 1,000 photos spans the reign of Libya's first and last king, Gaddafi's coup and exiling of the king, to the dictator's grisly end in 2011.

An undated picture of Gaddafi basking in the desert with friends

During Gaddafi's reign, much of Libya was hidden from the West, meaning the photos unveil the realities of life under Gaddafi in the country.

The exhibition claims to "look behind the "grip and grin" smiles of the political photo-op propaganda to reveal what was really going on."

Many of the photos have been gathered since the fall of Gaddafi, from Libyan ministries and even his personal residences, collected by Human Rights Watch emergency director Peter Bouckaert.

President Nasser of Egypt, Colonel Gaddafi and President Gaafar Nimiery wave to crowds in Benghazi sports stadium, December 1969

As well as the vast catalogue of pictures, the exhibition will be the discussion of a number of talks and workshops on Libya's past, present and future, as well as what it says about symbolism and iconography of dictators, modern revolutions and photojournalism in dangerous environments.

'The Gaddafi Archives - Libya before the Arab Spring', 21-29 June, Slade Research Centre, Woburn Square

To see more of the photos that will be featured, click through our slideshow below... (WARNING: one GRAPHIC image at end of slideshow)