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Tomás Munita August 11, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Afghanistan.
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Classroom, Kabul Afganistan. 2005

Tomás Munita was born in Chile in 1975. He began working as a photojournalist in South America in 1995. His began working for a newspaper and left to continue a long term project in Potosi, Bolivia. Later he worked for the Associated Press, first in Central America based in Panama and later based in Kabul, Afghanistan. Since 2006 he has been a freelance photographer working mostly on personal projects and for  publications such as The New York Times, Time, Geo and others. He was based in Kathmandu and recently returned to Santiago with his wife and two children. His work has won several awards, including the Leica Oskar Barnack in 2006, two World Press Photo prizes in different categories in 2006 and  the Young Photographer Infinity Award from the International Center of Photography in 2005.

About the Photograph:

“The girls are waiting for their teacher to arrive. They had their school destroyed during the civil war, so it recently moved to the abandoned remains of the Kabul theater where more than a hundred students continue their studies. It was a cold morning in 2005. But as soon as the teacher and the other students arrived they enthusiastically started  the history lessons.”

Jean Chung July 18, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Afghanistan.
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chung_afganisthan.jpg
Maternal Mortality in Afghanistan 2007

After receiving a Master’s degree in photo-journalism from the University of Missouri in 2003, Jean Chung, a native of Seoul, South Korea, returned to Seoul to pursue her goal to be an international photo-journalist. During her three-year stay in Seoul, she covered various news events and generated photo stories extensively in Asia and the Middle East. She spent a year in Kabul, Afghanistan, from Aug 2006 to 2007, focusing on issues such as education, woman’s rights, and social changes. In September 2007 she received the Grand Prix Care International du Reportage Humanitaire at the Visa Pour L’image Photo Festival in Perpinginan, France, for her documentation on maternal mortality in Afghanistan. Her work has been featured in publications such as Stern, Der Spiegel, Newsweek, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Time Asia, French GEO, and Vanity Fair (Italy).

About the Photograph:

“It was the day after Qamar had died in a small hospital room in Faizabad, in Badakshan province, Afghanistan. Azibullah, 30, the husband of 26-year-old Qamar, and his mother, brought the dead body of her back to their home in the remote village and began to weep out of loss of his wife. Qamar, who was a tuberculosis patient who had given a birth to a baby boy by a cesarean section about two weeks earlier. She suffered from severe postpartum complications and later died in the hospital on May 20, 2007 leaving her baby and husband behind. According to the UN and other research data, 25,000 women die from obstetric causes per year in  Afghanistan, or 1 woman dies every 27 minutes. Qamar’s story was one of the examples of how Afghan women suffer from the lack of education, proper health care, information, and infrastructure. It’s a serious human rights issue for mothers and children since giving birth can be a forecast of death.”

Véronique de Viguerie June 17, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Afghanistan.
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Day Laborers. Kandahar, Afghanistan

Twenty-nine year old French photographer Véronique de Viguerie has produced a wide array of features for World Picture News, including the “Madrassas of Pakistan” and “Afghanistan’s Fiercest Policewoman.” She covers many types of subjects ranging from hard news to reportage. Based in Afghanistan, de Viguerie narrowly escaped death in 2005 in a Kabul café when caught up in a suicide bomb blast; the man next to her was killed. In 2006 she was winner of the Canon Prize for Best Female Photojournalist at Visa Pour l’Image. Her work has appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, LIFE, Geo, Stern, The Times, Le Figaro, Le Monde, Libération among others.

About the Photograph:

“I took this picture in Kandahar. I was doing a story on the growing influence of the Taliban in southern Afghanistan. I was told that the Taliban were using poor people to work for them. So early morning we went to the market where all the men were waiting for day work. They do anything you need for a few dollars. This “main d’oeuvre” is used by the insurgency to carry explosives, arms etc.”

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