Testimonial Photography and Thinking through Violence – ‘we do not eat fruit because our garden was burnt’
Schlagworte:testimonial photography, violence, Aghan women, care economy, everyday life
Two weeks prior to the complete withdrawal of the United States/NATO troops from Afghanistan on 30 August 2021, the Taliban took over the country. Focusing on the airport scene, the media presented a picture of chaos and volatility, caused by the failure of the US-trained Afghan military force to protect the people. Barely any mention was made of how women sustain their families and communities in everyday life, a site of my ethnographic research conducted in the fall of 2008 and 2009, respectively. To acknowledge women’s survival strategies, I focus on testimonial photography, a genre that recognises that the past is present and can be collectively recalled through photographs. Photographs have their own language, motivating us to imagine alternative ways of being. Layered reading of images allows unacknowledged violence to come to light. Viewers are then motivated to engage into critical reflection.
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