Back in 2003 I traveled to afghanistan for Time Magazine. Besides Afghanistan I also went to Hong Kong, better described as a giant repository of shopping malls, the Philippines, Japan and India, in that order. Afghanistan left the deepest impression because it truly felt like a country in flux. I have always been attracted to countries which are somehow trying to make something of themselves, however poorly or half hazzard-ly.
I feel at home in such places because they obviously reflect on my own personal peregrinations as a person. Adding to the mix is the sheer beauty and anvil like strength of the surroundings and Afghanistan becomes hypnotic in its quiet chaos.
I generally do not feel the need to videotape anything, outside of my boys, as any proud parent should, but Afghanistan was the exception to the rule. I borrowed a video camera from an AP photographer and drove around with my fixer for a day; in between shoots. This video is unedited apart from removing my fixer’s face from the mix.
Given recent events in that country and in Iraq, involving anyone perceived to have been somehow associated with Americans I do not want his identity to be revealed online, and have him suffer the possible consequences. I chose not to edit it partly because to do so seems unnecessary. The running sound track is from my fixer’s musical collection, Kabul radio, or our conversations throughout the day(yes we communicated by singing to one another). You can download it to your Ipod or your desktop and look at Kabul and its surroundings as I saw it and felt it, without any further intervention on my part.
Suggested reading if you are interested in the history of Central Asia:
“The Great Game”, by Peter Hopkirk.