Life Goes On – August in Afghanistan
As a photojournalist/documentary photographer I strive to depict the spirit and sacredness of people and their surroundings. The cultural heritage and way of life of many people are often threatened by global events, war and industrialization. I focus on the nobleness of these people as they strive to keep their autonomy, culture and community alive. While each group maintains its own cultural identity many attributes, expressions and concerns of living are universal, creating a sense of brotherhood, a global village.
These photographs, from an August 2010 journey, represent my vision of the resilience and exquisiteness of humanity that I see in the Afghans. I realize that we have much to share with each other as we bridge the differences from culture to culture. If we are lucky, we discover that there are many similarities that become a means of commonality as we build a global village.
I have been traveling, researching, studying and photographing Afghanistan since 2003 when I first visited Kabul. During that February visit I reacquainted myself with Tom Little, a childhood playmate, and his wife Libby, a high school classmate. Our relationship deepened has I learned of Tom’s work with the National Organization of Ophthalmic Rehabilitation Eye Care Program and returned to document this program. In succeeding visits in 2004, 2005, and 2009 in Afghanistan and at dinners in our home or theirs when they were on home leave in the US, we spent many hours talking about Afghanistan as they shared their experiences.
I was traveling in Afghanistan in August, planning to connect with Tom after his expedition to Nuristan with a team of aid workers, when I learned of their tragic deaths. As a result of the uncertain security situation my travel plans were curtailed. I chose to stay in Kabul and bear witness to the burial and memorial service for an amazing human being, a very special friend and mentor. I dedicate the presentation of these photographs to the love these ten aid workers felt for the Afghan people.
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Afghan Women's Fund affiliated with Women for Afghan Women
International Assistance Mission
Connie Frisbee Houde