These photos are taken over a number of years.
I first went to Afghanistan in 1996. Kabul hadn’t fallen to the Taliban at that stage, though it would, two weeks after we left. Photography was permitted, but I had no film stock, and the only film I could buy was several years expired. Nonetheless, some photos from that time survived.
We were next in Afghanistan from 1999-2001, under the Taliban. Photography was not permitted, and several of our colleagues spent nights in jail for breaching this law. So most of my photos from that time are surreptitious, taken quickly, and often not very good. We were evacuated in 2001, following the attacks in USA, and lost alot of photos (and everything else).
We were back in Afghanistan in 2003, but it was not until mid 2005 that I could afford a good SLR again.
Afghanistan is beautiful: spiritually and physically. It is also harsh and unforgiving. It will grab your heart and not let go.
Kabul and Lal wa sarejangal. 2008
The first 10 of these images are from the latter half of 2008, in Kabul.
The second nine images are from Lal.
I was asked to go up to Lal wa sarejangal to evaluate some development work. As I wrote in the report, ‘I suppose there are harsher and more difficult places in Afghanistan, but I haven’t been to them’. It is a tough, hard place.
Kabul 2005. 2007
Mazar-i-Sharif 2001, immediately following the fall of the Taliban, and later in 2002.
Mazar 2005 and 2007