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Daily Pic: A recent image of Afghanistan by photographer Omar Mullick, from a portfolio that just launched on the Foreign Policy Web site. Mullick is part of a journalistic team called Basetrack, many of whose photos are taken with the iPhone’s Hipstamatic special-effects filters. What’s so interesting in this series is that the filter Mullick chose makes photos of today’s Afghanistan look like images from fifty or even 100 years ago, mixing black and white and a hint of watery color. I’m not sure you’d get away with such a collapsing of time in almost any other country. What I don’t know, is whether that’s because there’s a fundamental culture in Afghanistan that has stayed basically unchanged, or if we’ve bought into a Rudyard Kipling view of the place that we can’t jettison. Is Afghanistan static, or is it our vision that is? Can we afford any nostalgia in dealing with our mission there?
The Daily Pic, along with more global art news, can also be found on the Art Beast page at thedailybeast.com.
Hipstamatic + Afghanistan = This. Hauntingly beautiful.
Last week, Jeremy Morlock, a member of the “kill team,” pleaded guilty to murdering three Afghan civilians. He faces up to 24 years in prison.
Kudos to our multimedia team for this fascinating look at the Marja region of Afghanistan. Check it out.
Really amazing audio slideshow from our photo department, and photographer Seamus Murphy.
Richard Haass, on Afghanistan
Life after the Taliban: Photographs from Afghanistan by James Reeve
In which Ron Moreau and Sami Yousafzai find that running the Taliban is much like running a large corporation: The troops really need reassurance from the top:
Omar could settle many issues among his followers, perhaps even urge them to accept a peace deal, with only a few words, either in person or in an audio recording. “But he has never done that so far,” the senior insurgent said. “The slightest sign of involvement by Mullah Omar might provide a clue to his trail. So he stays away.” That remoteness frustrates many Taliban members, even though they understand the need for secrecy. “I question the wisdom of keeping away his voice from the many fighting for the thousands who have sacrificed their lives in his name,” says a Taliban intelligence officer who declined to be named for security reasons.