Yesterday evening June 2, 2011 I attended the opening of the above photo exhibition by Arvind Vohora. To say I was blown away by the photos gracing the walls of what used to be RaMoMa would be an understatement.
What was so exiting for me about this photo exhibition was the subject it’s self- The People of
This country has been called a ‘grave yard’ for empires because many countries have ventured into it without understanding the geography, the people, their culture, the resilience of this people, their religion and such. So this exhibition in a way put on the table the day to day happenings in this country albeit in 1988 when the Mujahideen were kingpins! This was way before they had metathesized to Taliban and AL-Qaeda was in its infant stages.
These photos were taken by Arvind in 1988 soon after getting married. As the invitation fly points out.
‘Wanting some excitements in his life after working for fifteen years as a commercial photographer, he got married and they left soon to spend a year living amongst Afghan refugees in
Peshawar, Pakistan and traveling into with the Mujahideen.’ Afghanistan
What a honeymoon it must have been!
The exhibition is curated by Sylvia N. Gichia of Kuona Trust who together with her team did a fantastic work of displaying the photos in terms of themes. This are; men and their trade, portraits of men, photos of women with children, men with their guns, cattle and my favorite men doing leisure playing polo albeit with a calf instead of a ball!
This photos can make an excellent buy or gift for Senator John Kerry ‘The Pakistan Whisperer’, the can be also be a good buy for Gen. Stanley McChrystal and Gen. David Paetrus authors of COIN or they would fit perfectly in a white house room that discusses issues of withdraw of US troops in Afghanistan.
Mind you, Charlie Wilson's War movie will provide an excellent context of what was happening in 1980’s in