Using access impossible and too perilous until recently, the Associated Press chronicles the changes in Afghanistan two years after the Taliban’s return in a cross-platform story driven by images from an Afghan-style wooden box camera—a traditional tool in the country—that was built and will be operated by AP photographer Rodrigo Abd.
Revealed will be a people in transition—buffeted by two generations of war and uncertainty, wondering where the events of the world and in their capital will propel them next.
Subjects will include portraits and stories of characters who best represent aspects of the new era in Afghanistan since the departure of foreign troops last year: Taliban fighters, women activists, people displaced by drought and war, workers, farmers, students, street children, the unemployed. Providing texture to the overall project will be all of their faces and the testimonies of how their lives were before, how they are doing now, what hopes they hold for the future and how they are all connected, in distinctive ways, to the road itself —which ultimately binds them all even if they are unaware of it.
Through the scope of stories and black-and-white pictures, we will visualize and document whether Afghanistan is—and was even before the new Taliban takeover—really the unhappiest country in the world, as a so-called World Happiness report said ahead of the U.N.-designated International Day of Happiness last March.