Worldwide Locations

Worldwide Locations

Afghan Eyes: A Culture in Conflict, 1987-1992

Muhammad Karim, Mujahid with Decorated Gunprevious | next Ghazni Province, November 1988

Muhammad Karim, Mujahid with Decorated Gunprevious | next Ghazni Province, November 1988

Through Afghan Eyes: A Culture in Conflict, 1987-1992 features photographs and videos from the Afghan Media Resource Center (AMRC) archives. These images are the work of Afghan photographers and cameramen who were able to portray their country and its daily rituals and practices as few outsiders could. The pictures they recorded have an intimacy that can help to translate the experiences of war across cultural boundaries.

The Afghan Media Resource Center (AMRC) was founded in 1986 in Peshawar, Pakistan. AMRC journalists were recruited from the Islamic resistance parties and introduced to the principles of news reporting, documentary photography, and video editing by journalism instructors from Boston University. After completing their six-week training course, AMRC personnel were dispatched in teams to all parts of Afghanistan, gathering images and stories for international distribution. AMRC maintained active coverage of the situation inside Afghanistan from 1987, through the Soviet pullout in 1989, until the final collapse of the communist government in 1992.

The curators of this exhibition, David B. Edwards, Holly Edwards and Liza Johnson have chosen a selection of the journalist's work specifically to complement the all-too-familiar images of mercenary warlords and veiled women that have dominated news reports since the events of September 11, 2001. Images from the archive have been organized around moral values that Afghans use to enact their relation to place (homeland/watan), to each other (honor/nang), and to God (belief/iman). Each of these themes show people living against severe odds.