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Afghanistan – A Day in the Life Of…

Yusuke Suzuki — First Year, Term 1 Work

Blog: http://fotologue.jp/The-Minstrel-Boy

1. What was your motivation for this project/these images?

I wanted to know how the people in Afghanistan live.

2. Describe your technique for making these images. (film or digital, camera used, settings and ISO, tripod or none, alternative process(es), etc.)

I took this trip with my first dSLR Canon EOS 30D, no tripod.

Image 1: Manual, F5.6_1/800_ISO160

Image 2: Manual, F5.6_1/60_ISO125

Image 3: Manual, F5.6_1/250_ISO640

3. What is your intention behind this work/in making this work?

I am from Japan, and Japanese media didn’t pick up much on Afghanistan, yet our government had provided a great deal of money and resources to Afghanistan to help them rebuild their country. I was curious and wanted to find out the truth first-hand, document it and bring it to Japanese (and other) younger generations. I wanted to communicate that truth through pictures. While the situation in Afghanistan is terrible—even in war, there are ordinary days and people there live and are very much like us. Afghanistan is a beautiful country, and its people are very nice—I wanted my images to follow not only the war, but also their daily lives.

4. What response do you hope to get from your viewers?

I hope viewers find something new within these pictures and feel something new because of them. My goal is to help the viewer step outside his/her own life and become more interested in world issues—to see, appreciate and be informed by how others live in their countries and cultures.

5. What other artists or art serve(s) as your inspiration?

I like music, so I get a lot of inspiration from it. Listening to really good music helps me visualize the images I want to create, and it keeps me motivated.

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4 Responses

  1. beautiful images! especially the second 2.

  2. These are beautiful pictures. I want to know how you gained access to these places. Did you need a visa to go to Afghanistan? And did you accompany a team or go alone? I applaud your courage and your work!

  3. Beautiful images – you have a great eye. It would be interesting to hear how you made the trip. Did you have a fixer? Were you on your own? How were the travel conditions throughout Afghanistan? did you feel safe?

    thanks for posting!

    Catherine

  4. Thank you for your comments everybody.
    First of all, I took a trip with Danish NGO that is located in Kabul, so I could get in UN airplane from Pakistan to Afghanistan by their arrangement. I needed a visa to go there.
    I have been there 3 times and I realize that the situation in Afghanistan has been dangerous day by day. In 2006, I could go out alone but nowadays, that is completely impossible. Especially, if you’re western people, you definitely can’t go out except work in office.
    All of my friends who work for International NGO were using bulletproof cars with armed bodyguard. Regrettably, abduction has become a business there.
    As for me, I sometimes felt dangerous and safe. When I went to central part of Afghanistan, it was no problem at all. But I can’t say “safe”. I was arrested a couple of times by International Security Assistance Force and local police. I have been taken to ISAF base and questioned severely. Besides, there are lot of different tribes and they have been fighting each other.
    But they are originally really good people. They love music, dance, sports like us and their great hospitality against strangers was famous.
    I was so impressed there.
    Thank you!

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