surviving war – andrea bruce

This is a visual record of Afghanistan, a decade after 9/11. At the same time it is a picture of the survivors, the widows, the husbands and the sons who, amid escalating violence, will make the choices that decide the future of Afghanistan. On August 10, 2010, the United Nations reported that Afghan civilian casualties rose 31 percent in the first six months of that year, mostly due to insurgent attacks such as suicide bombings. Rumors of corruption are rampant, from President Hamid Karzai’s government to the warlords that lend much of their support to NATO forces. Burqas, a required covering for women under Taliban rule in the past, are once again a familiar sight in Kabul. And, in several Pashtun villages, the Taliban has closed many schools for girls. Afghans now find themselves in the middle of a transition from NATO control to autonomy, whatever this autonomy may mean. Everyday Afghans, women who have established a life under new-found freedoms and Afghan Americans who are faced with the choice of staying in Afghanistan or returning to the United States, are all discovering the best way to survive this war. My goal is to provide an empathetic picture of the individuals involved in this conflict, bringing viewers beyond the daily visions of politics and war. I tend to concentrate on the aftermath of war as a body of work as well as the social issues that are sometimes ignored, often ignited, in war’s wake. I want to bring viewers into a private, and often uncomfortable, space and immerse myself in the life of a person, or a community, to help bring to light an overarching injustice or issue. – Andrea Bruce

Special thanks to the Alicia Patterson Foundation for making the images in this book possible.

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