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"Afghanistan: Between Life and War” by Paula Bronstein is a book project on life in Afghanistan against the backdrop of a brutal war.

A  Hazara mother holds her two children looking out from their cave dwelling.
A Hazara mother holds her two children looking out from their cave dwelling.

DONATE TO THIS BOOK PROJECT :  Afghanistan and its people have given so much to me and played a formative role in my life since 2001. Afghanistan: Between Life and War is my attempt to give something back. It is my hope that my images provide those in the outside world with a different way of seeing the Afghan people. As we move closer to 2014, the Afghan Presidential election will coincide with the continuing withdrawal of US military troops and new challenges for this country. With your support now is the time to make this photo book a reality. After this project is funded the final stage of book production will start.

A boy flies a kite along a hill overlooking the city of Kabul at sunset. Kite flying was banned  under the Taliban rules for years.
A boy flies a kite along a hill overlooking the city of Kabul at sunset. Kite flying was banned under the Taliban rules for years.

Between Life and War :

I was captivated by the people and places of Afghanistan from my first assignment to the country in the Fall of 2001, when I was sent by Getty Images to document the invasion under the US-led Operation Enduring Freedom. I crossed the border into a country whose diverse cultures, landscapes and geographies were utterly compelling and challenging at the same time. Only a month earlier the world had been unmistakably transformed by Al Qaeda’s attack on the World Trade Center in New York. Even then it was clear that the events of 9/11 would shape global political and military action for years to come. Over the next decade, I would keep returning to Afghanistan to visually report on this war-torn country.

An Afghan woman with severe burns on 45% of her body from self-immolation shows her scars at a hospital in Herat.
An Afghan woman with severe burns on 45% of her body from self-immolation shows her scars at a hospital in Herat.


Please take a look at my Afghanistan book preview presentation on Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/75869121

An elderly Afghan man holds his grand daughter at a makeshift refugee camp after their village was bombed.
An elderly Afghan man holds his grand daughter at a makeshift refugee camp after their village was bombed.

Afghanistan: Between Life and War is a book project which seeks to dispel the mystique that too often surrounds this much reported but little known country that spans Central and South Asia. While I was embedded with US forces on occasion, this project draws exclusively on my independent photography from the war-torn country. Through these pictures I attempt to show how Afghan people constructed and lived their lives against a backdrop of an unceasingly violent war and brutal Taliban insurgency. This is a story that spans the full spectrum of human experiences and emotions. Throughout the book I also focus on stories that give voice to people who have none. As a female photojournalist working in a conservative Islamic country, I sought to provide an intimate and challenging perspective on how Afghan women conduct their daily lives.

Afghan women walk in front of the Darulaman Palace in Kabul, on a breezy winter day.
Afghan women walk in front of the Darulaman Palace in Kabul, on a breezy winter day.

RECOGNITION: Though this book has not been published, it has won three awards. Among the awards, the book was a finalist for the 2012 CDS/ Honickman First Book Prize in Photography, runner-up in the PhotoEvidence photo book contest and shortlisted in the European Publishers Award for Photography.

An Afghan soldier carries another wounded Afghan National Army comrade off a Blackhawk helicopter after they were rescued in an air mission in Kandahar.
An Afghan soldier carries another wounded Afghan National Army comrade off a Blackhawk helicopter after they were rescued in an air mission in Kandahar.
On my first trip to Afghanistan in late 2001, local militia pose with me on top of a tank outside of Kandahar.
On my first trip to Afghanistan in late 2001, local militia pose with me on top of a tank outside of Kandahar.

 Many thanks to my friends who helped me put together this Kickstarter campaign: Bradley Cox, ( video ) Greg Lowe, Liz Smailes, Jennifer Gampell and Stacy Waters

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

There are always challenges to overcome given that publishers budgets have shrunk over the years, especially when it comes to editorial books with strong content. With your help, I am confident that I can reach my financial publishing goal for this labor of love. After that I don't anticipate any risks besides the usual challenges of publishing a top quality photo book.

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    A personal thank you with an Afghan photo post card from Paula

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