Luke Powell's photographs of Afghanistan
August 27, 2010 10:40 AM   Subscribe

Photographer Luke Powell captures the beauty and dignity of Afghanistan from the cities in the news to remote villages reachable only on horseback. He photographed the country extensively throughout the 1970s as a tourist and again from 2000 – 2003 in the employ of the United Nations to document minefields, mine victims, and demining efforts. Glimpses: Boys in the Bazaar l Koochie Tents (nomadic pastoralists).

Concise history of Afghanistan

Brief bio of Luke Powell. A bit more.

A couple of his thoughts.

Additional online galleries: His great pics of the North-West Frontier, Peshawar, Pakistan l Some smaller pics of Egypt, Ceylon and Zanskar, Vermont

posted by nickyskye (7 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
thanks, nickyskye!

the link to the history of Afghanistan was pretty enlightening. I think it highlights why this region has been a popular hot spot for war and strife throughout history - you just have to follow the money. It's apparently always been a super strategic thruway for trade routes and commerce (apart from being pretty central to the opium trade for quite possibly forever), and when you factor in the part where it's been repeatedly invaded by various conquerors / imperialist factions, starting with Alexander the Great and carrying on through the British Empire, right on through the Soviets and the US... well it's unsurprising that it's been so downtrodden and unstable, at least throughout the last 150 years or so.

I had a copy of Greg Mortensen's book (he's that dude who's been building schools in rural Pakistan and Afghanistan) awhile back that I gave away to a friend because they were spouting some species of ZOMG MUSLIMS pro-military crap about the Taliban. While GM himself strikes me as a sort of half-crazed idealist trustafarian type who's fairly lucky that he's not gotten his ass shot off yet, he's got a sound idea: educate the female population and give them better access to effective healthcare and reproductive controls, and you can really give the local conservative-fundamentalist patriarchal society (i.e. the Taliban) a swift kick to the nuts, with no real military involvement necessary.
posted by lonefrontranger at 1:27 PM on August 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

I really love this post! These photos have very great artistic merit and it is good to see someone who understands the Afghan people and respects them.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 1:50 PM on August 27, 2010

The photos are truly great, and show a side of Afghanistan that isn't generally shared. Great post. There's plenty to chew on for a while, here.

I just wish there was a little more web 2.0 and a little less web .20.
posted by nevercalm at 1:53 PM on August 27, 2010

Wonderful. A post that combines to of my favorite things: photography and all things Central Asia.

This photo is pure gold:
posted by msjen at 7:30 PM on August 27, 2010

Thanks! This is great.
posted by sneebler at 8:41 PM on August 27, 2010

Timurid tiles in Herat and more mosque tiles
pure beauty
Thank you nickyskye
posted by adamvasco at 6:02 AM on August 28, 2010

Art From the Vale of Swat from a further link on the thoughts page.
posted by adamvasco at 9:39 AM on August 28, 2010 [1 favorite]

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