Michael Kamber May 26, 2010Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Afghanistan.
Kabul, Afghanistan 2001
Michael Kamber (b.1963, USA) worked for many years as a carpenter and mechanic and made the transition to photojournalism in the last 1980s. In the last decade, he has worked primarily as a conflict photographer and has covered a dozen wars including Afghanistan, Somalia, Liberia, Darfur and the Congo. He photographed the war in Iraq for The New York Times between 2003 and 2010. He is the only journalist to routinely file photos, video and written pieces for The New York Times. His photos have been published in nearly every major news magazine in the USA and Europe. Michaelis the winner of a 2007 World Press Photo award, the Missouri School of Journalism’s Penny Press Award, American Photo Images of the Year and an Overseas Press Club award. He has been nominated three times for the Pulitzer Prize–twice for photography and once for reporting.
About the Photograph:
“I was one of hundreds–perhaps thousands–of journalists that arrived in Pakistan in the weeks after 9/11. Like many journalists there, I spent about two months writing and photographing feature stories and trying to get across the border into Afghanistan. The fall of the Taliban left Afghanistan with no government, and, consequently, no border controls. The next day I simply walked across the unguarded border in the Kyber Pass and found a taxi going to Jalalabad. On November 19th, I moved on to Kabul in a convoy of journalists. Rushing through the countryside and eager to get to the story, the convoy broke apart; cars lost sight of one another in the thick dust and twisting roads. We rounded a corner on a remote mountain pass and armed men stepped out from the side of the road. I shouted for our driver to stop, but sensing danger, he gunned the engine and shot past the men. They pointed their weapons at us but held fire, perhaps hearing more vehicles approaching. The gunmen stopped the next two cars, pulled four journalists out, and beat and shot them to death. In Kabul, the population seemed to be waking from some long sleep. People pulled TVs and radios from cellars where they had been hidden–the Taliban had forbidden music and moving images–and men sat on the street corner pounding tin cans into satellite dishes.”