Photographer's Note

During a clothing and blanket distribution in northern Afghanistan, I took this shot quickly as not to attract attention. It is one of the only photos I have of a woman in all of Afghanistan. Although I was there for over 8 months, and spent most everyday visiting and working in small villages outside of Tahkar’s capitol Taloqan, I never saw the entirety of a woman’s face in any of these villages. The girls in the background are still too young to wear a burqa, but from the time they were very little, have learned/been taught to cover themselves up in public and in the presence of men outside their family. Soon they will also "adorn" the burqa, something many girls in Afghanistan still look forward to (because it is seen as "beautiful" and means they have reached womanhood). It remains a mystery to me, coming from the West with my "western" way of the thinking, but the truth is the burqa remains a constant, a norm in most all of Afghanistan, and there is little doubt that things will stay like this for some time.

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Photo Information
  • Copyright: James McDowell (JMcDowell) Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 17 W: 1 N: 81] (655)
  • Genre: People
  • Medium: Color
  • Date Taken: 2005-02-15
  • Categories: Daily Life
  • Exposure: f/11, 1/160 seconds
  • More Photo Info: view
  • Photo Version: Original Version
  • Date Submitted: 2005-08-01 11:21
Viewed: 4089
Points: 4
  • None
Additional Photos by James McDowell (JMcDowell) Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 17 W: 1 N: 81] (655)
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