Life in War is probably the only book about Afghanistan that isn’t filled with images of war. For ten years, Saeedi’s photographed daily life in the context of war. Speaking the language, Majid embedded with the Afghan people rather than with an alien army. His photographs reveal the humanity of a people living through decades of war.
For the past century, Afghanistan has been involved in various wars and conflicts, due to its internal politics, religion, or because other powers sought to conquer these lands. Remnants of Russian tanks are still ever-present in the streets, mountainsides and valleys. After the war with the USSR, Communists seized power in the country. It was during this time that conservative Muslims started to get organized, and eventually gained power themselves. Later, they in turn became another cause of strife, this time in the civil war between Al Qaeda and the country’s regular civilians. After September 11th, the world noticed what was going on in Afghanistan and the dynamics of its civil war began change once more. This time Afghan people faced a new war, as foreign countries squared off against al-Qaeda.
We have seen countless images of Afghanistan, particularly images of soldiers and aid workers throughout the country, but these images don’t portray the real Afghanistan in my experience. The real Afghanistan may be an image of a humble child looking at my camera lens without a smile. If you are a photojournalist in Afghanistan, you would get used to seeing these faces. For me, the real Afghanistan would be the smile on the faces of those same children when they take pictures with my camera, or in contrast, an image of women who have set themselves on fire to express their despair about their lives, images of men, women and children who have lost their arms and legs due to land mines…
Life in War
120 pages, Hardcover
85 duotone illustrations
Order the book: www.amazon.com