The magazine of the photo-essay
Jan 2020 back issue
“A free, really high quality photo-essay magazine. Fabulous!” Stephen Fry. British actor, writer and film maker
by Damian Bird
Behind the Taliban Curtain
In 2011, Damian Bird travelled to Afghanistan to make a portrait of the everyday lives of the people living in a country ravished by war.
In Kabul it is common to see wives walking behind their husbands out of respect and as a sign of subservience.
Street food. Kebabs.
Horse with cart made from the back axle of a truck.
During the time of the Taliban rule in Afghanistan all music and dance was banned. Now, joy and freedom are expressed in dance in music clubs all over Kabul. It is interesting that this Afghan National Army soldier is wearing a Soviet star belt buckle, which has been salvaged from the era of the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.
Children playing on a merry-go-round.
Vegetables on sale in a Mazar-i-Sharif street market.
Balloons were banned under the Taliban and now they can be seen on sale everywhere as a symbol of freedom. Kabul.
Fetching and carrying.
Under the Taliban, beards were worn uncut and a neatly trimmed beard was punishable by beating and/or imprisonment.
Morning tea being savoured by a Kabul rug salesman.
Due to the almost complete absence of refridgeration in Afghanistan, meat is slaughtered and sold the same day.
Yoking the strength of the young to fetch and carry water home for domestic use. Mazar-i-Sharif.
Street vendors, Kabul.
Street cobbler, Kabul.
Murderer being brought out of his underground cell to meet me. The day before, he’d entered a Mazar-i-Sharif police station on a mission to kill the Chief of Police. When he was told that the man he was after was not there, he pulled out a nine inch blade and killed four police officers before being restrained.
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