Forgotten Afghanistan - Mohammad Agha

PhotographerGloriann Liu
PrizeHonorable Mention

War in Afghanistan has now extended beyond its thirtieth year. Many Afghans do not know what it is like to live without the constant threat of the terror of war. There are many layers to the ruin and devastation as seen in the destroyed lives and homes. Thousands of landmines are still scattered across the farmlands, in orchards, and hidden beneath the ground on the rugged mountainsides. There are unexploded bombs in the yards of many homes waiting to claim more victims. Of course, the biggest tragedy is the thousands of lives that have been lost. Forgotten Afghanistan, the project that I have been photographing for the past four years, seeks to tell stories of the continuing suffering of the Afghan people after the bombs and rockets have fallen. These photographs afford a clear view into the lives of disabled Afghans. The people that I have photographed and interviewed are disabled victims from the war with the Soviets, 1979-1989, the Civil War, 1992-1996, and the war against the Taliban, 1996-2001. Mohammed Agha was collecting firewood in the garden of Abdullah Jan in Charakar in 1992 when he stepped on a landmine. Both legs were amputated above the knee. He says he does not have time to get fitted for prostheses because he is too busy working as a shoe maker. He lives in the village of Roshtaka with a large extended family, including his four children. The Disabled Council helped him to get a loan from the Red Cross for the equipment he needed for his shoe business