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Paula Lerner | Afghanistan

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN �" 2/8/2005: Girls make their way home from the market on a winter's day in Kabul. During the civil war with different factions shelling the city, going out to the market could prove deadly. As Kabul rebuilds, such scenes are again part of daily life.
Photo © Paula Lerner/Aurora Photos

Many news stories out of Afghanistan cover the ongoing insurgency and the hardships of war. But few report on how Afghans are rebuilding in war's aftermath.  This colleciton of photographs explores this other side of Afghanistan.


Photos by Paula Lerner

Most news stories out of Afghanistan cover the ongoing insurgency and the hardships of war. But few report on how Afghans are rebuilding in war's aftermath and what the fabric of their daily lives look like. People still bake and break bread, children still play, and women still sit with each other to sing at weddings and other events. Men still buy and sell birds at the market in Kabul, and boys still fly kites in the winter. It is this other side of Afghanistan that intrigues me, and which seems to be largely neglected in the West.

These photographs are selected from various projects I have done since 2005, and portray the daily life behind the headlines in Afghanistan, with an emphasis on women's issues.  Because I am a female photojournalist, the door to the women’s quarters was open to me, and I could chronicle a world rarely seen in the West.

On multiple trips to the country, I made a point of documenting the experiences of a broad range of women, from outgoing businesswomen in Kabul to home-bound wives and widows in Kandahar. While some women in Afghanistan have enjoyed new freedom since the fall of the Taliban, little has changed in the conservative southern capital of Kandahar, the original heartland of the Taliban. By shining a light on a group of women heretofore unseen, my hope is to allow viewers to connect with them in a personal and humanizing way. My aim is to put a human face on those who were previously invisible, and offer a voice where there has been only silence.

Multimedia by Paula Lerner

In 2006, Paula collaborated with a team from the washingtonpost.com to produce a webby-award winning multimedia feature titled The Women of Kabul.  This feature profiles five unusual Afghan women entrepreneurs, and tells the story of their struggle to build their businesses while helping to rebuild their country.

Paula Lerner


30 Selwyn Road

Belmont MA 02478 USA

617-489-6747 • http://www.lernerphoto.com

paula [at] lernerphoto dot com

For information on upcoming exhibitions, openings and public multimedia presentations, please visit the Exhibits and Events page at www.lernerphoto.com.

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