The Taliban are adopting modern approaches to disrupting Afghanistan’s society:
Alissa Rubin, Taliban Using Modern Means to Add to Sway
Punctually, at 8 o’clock every evening, the cellphone signals disappear in this provincial capital. Under pressure from the Taliban, the major carriers…
Harvest of Hypocrisy? UK opium poppy farming kept hush-hush (by RussiaToday)
‘The U.S.-lead ‘war on drugs’ in Afghanistan has been ongoing since the fall of the Taliban in 2001. Despite millions of dollars being spent on destroying crops, Afghanistan remains the world leader in opium-poppy production. But as RT’s Laura Emmett discovered, the crackdown is having an adverse effect, with countries like the UK now forced to grow their own poppies to plug a shortage in pharmaceuticals.’
Faux-Vintage Afghanistan Photography and the Nostalgia for War
Via Nathan Jurgenson:
The recent and popular Hipstamatic war photos depict contemporary soldiers, battlefields and civilian turmoil as reminiscent of wars long since passed. War photos move us by depicting human drama taken to its extreme, and these images, shot with a smartphone and “filtered” to look old, create a sense of simulated nostalgia, further tugging at our collective heart strings. And I think that these photos reveal much more.
Hipstamatic war photographs ran on the front page of the New York Times [the full set] last November, and, of course, fake-vintage photos of everyday life are filling our Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter streams. I recently analyzed this trend ina long essay called The Faux-Vintage Photo, which is generating a terrific response. I argue that we like faux-vintage photographs because they provide a “nostalgia for the present”; our lives in the present can be seen as like the past: more important and real in a grasp for authenticity.
If faux-vintage photography is rooted in authenticity, then what is more real than war? If the proliferation of Hipstamatic photographs has anything to do with a reaction to our increasingly plastic, simulated, Disneyfied and McDonaldized worlds, then what is more gritty than Afghanistan in conflict? In a moment where there is a shortage of and a demand for authenticity (the gentrification of inner-cities, “decay porn” and so on), war may serve as the last and perhaps ultimate bastion of authenticity. However, as I will argue below, war itself is in a crisis of authenticity, creating rich potential for its faux-vintage documentation.
shout out to:futurejournalismproject
“In this unique collection of photographs, largely taken on iPhones using an app called Hipstamatic that allows users to digitally manipulate “lenses,” “flashes,” and “film stock,” we found something exceptionally powerful: a record of the lives of U.S. Marines in Helmand province in 2010 and 2011 and of the Afghans they interacted with. It is by no means a comprehensive look at 10 years of war, but it is an evocative and profound slice of life — at the beginning of the end of the longest conflict in U.S. history.
This experiment in photojournalism comes to FP by way of Teru Kuwayama and Balazs Gardi, who embedded with Marine Battalion 1/8 in Helmand for five months starting in September 2010. They collaborated with three other photographers on a project called Basetrack — a multiplatform, social-media cornucopia; a hybrid of digital maps and feeds, Facebook posts and musings, interviews and stunning photographs.”
shout out to:pantslessprogressive
The Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul, Afghanistan, is a heavily guarded five-star establishment that often hosts VIP guests — but on the night of June 28, 2011, nine assailants, strapped with bombs, rifles, and rocket-propelled grenades, were able to breach its tight security and engage the Afghan military and NATO forces in a nearly six-hour battle. At the end of the attack, for which the Taliban has claimed responsibility, at least 21 people were dead.