Afghanistan: In 1994 and 2010

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Photographer Seamus Murphy, of VII Photo Agency, returned to Afghanistan in June 2010 and revisited some of the locations he had photographed on his first trip to Afghanistan in 1994. After all these years of violence and war, and billions of dollars spent on the supposed development, it is surprising how little has changed.

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I returned to Afghanistan in May/June 2010 and revisited some locations I had photographed on my first trip to Afghanistan in 1994. It was surprising how little had actually changed after all the years of violence and tumult in Kabul, and after all the billions of dollars that Afghanistan and the Afghans are supposed to be grateful for receiving. Not much evidence of it here.

I was able to reframe the original places using reference points like poles and structures that were still standing from 1994. I was also helped by advice from locals who became excited when they saw the prints that I had brought of my original photographs--they had not seen too many photographs of their neighborhood from those years. And then they would become quiet, shaking their heads at the madness of their history. Many had been refugees who had fled the fighting to Pakistan or Iran, some had spent time in the UK and the U.S. Police were suspicious and, at times, dismissive of me but once they realized what was happening, helped me in their own way.

1994, Kabul, a Mujahedeen looks at Jade Maiwand in the old part of Kabul.

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Same Jade Maiwand in 2010.

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Kabul. November 1994.

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Kabul. June 2010.

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Kabul. November 1994.

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Kabul. June 2010.

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Kabul. November 1994.

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Kabul. June 2010.

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Kabul. November 1994.

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Kabul. July 2010.

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Kabul. November 1994.

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Kabul. July 2010.

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Bullet hole in a school blackboard at Shafaq High School in the frontline village of Ghulam Ali, Parwan province. November 2001.

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A girl does algebra at a blackboard at Shafaq High School in the village of Ghulam Ali, Parwan province.. July 2010.

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Kabul. November 1994.

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Kabul. July 2010.

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Brothers Farhad, Farhuddin and Abdul Shapoor of the Ba Deli family, who live on Shor Bazar, in Kabul's Old City. 1994.

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Farhad and Farhuddin of the Ba Deli family, back at their original home on Shor Bazar, in Kabul's Old City. 2010.

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Internally displaced families as a result of the fighting between Taliban and Massoud's forces, Khwaja Bahauddin, Takhar province. November 2000.

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Internally displaced people as a result of the fighting in Helmand between Taliban and Coalition forces. July 2010.

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Kabul. November 1994.

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Kabul. June 2010.

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1 comment:

  1. Ah I miss Afghanistan...can't wait to go back there.

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