Afghanistan, art of resistance, travel

The Beauty of the Wakhan Corridor.

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First time I was introduced with the beauty of Afghanistan’s Wakhan Corridor was through the photos of Benjamin Rasmussen. The Wakhan Corridor is a unique territory stretching from the far north-east of Afghanistan all the way to China, Pakistan to the south and Tajikistan to the north.

It made me happy to see a new photo essay about the Wakhan Corridor on Agence VU. Andrew Quilty took some extraordinary photographs capturing the harshness of the area (you can feel the coldness through the photos) but also the mesmerizing beauty of the Corridor and its people.

Quilty writes:

“Like the territory itself, Wakhanis seem insulated from the turmoil that has gripped greater Afghanistan the last four decades. However foreigners are welcomed in the Wakhan,without any sense of suspicion. The iconic blue burqa—ubiquitous elsewhere—is nowhere to be seen. Instead, women and girls wear vibrant, red scarves that flow from round skull-caps as they undertake daily chores which seem less dictated by gender than elsewhere in Afghanistan.”

Here are some of Quilty’s photos, and for more – be sure to visit Agence VU.

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//all photos © Andrew Quilty/Oculi/Agence VU//

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Afghanistan, art of resistance

Art of Resistance: The Afghan Institute of Music, Kabul.

Andrew Quilty is a well known Australian photographer. He recently made his first trip to Afghanistan, where he intends to return very soon. From his first visit to Afghanistan, Quilty brought some great stories. One of them is a story about the Afghan Institute of Music in Kabul.

Artist statement:

“In 2001 further to the collapse of the Taliban government, whose radical interpretation of Islam led to a world without television nor music, it was the Afghan people themselves who brought music back into their lives” says Sarmast from his office at ANIM.

Originally, the ANIM (Afghan National Institute of Music) project led by Dr. Ahmad Sarmast, was a theoretical report commissioned by the Afghan Ministry of Culture on how to revive the taste for music in the country. During six years, Dr Sarmast led the project into a new direction, by creating in 2010 this independent school which provides free vocational music training and a general education to street kids and children (to both girls and boys) from remote provinces.

Yet, the lack of qualified Afghans music teachers and musicians is obvious despite the close links that exist between musical culture and Afghan philisophy. The World Bank’s subventions, the Afghan Education Ministry and the German and US governments’, provide help to this school and hence offering it the guarantees of a confortable future. It also gives the youth of the Afghan Child Education and Care Organisation – a national network of nine orphanages-cum-boarding schools – the possibility to access this educational system, especially the girls.

In this country where foundamentalist politic tensions tend to continue to slow down the development of the teaching of culture, the ANIM carries a message of hope towards the rediscovering of a national musical tradition.”

Here are some of Quilty’s photos.

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/all photos  © Andrew Quilty/

For more on this project, go to Agence VU.

For more on Quilty and his work, visit his official website.

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