Genevieve Tran

This conversation is closed.

Let's upload photos of Afghanistan from those among us who were lucky enough to visit it during peace time.

In another TED conversation led by a young person from Afghanistan, he (?) asked the community what we'd like to be able to see in the future. He himself has never seen peace in his country and wished to see this, above all.

I'm too young to have gone there myself in peace time, but I have met older Japanese people who said they were tourists in the 1970s and visited the markets of Kabul and the buddha statues in Bamyan. They regret so much having lost this part of the world. I'm going to ask them to share their photos! Those of us outside Afghanistan hold all these lovely memories of it, sadly locked away--forever? I thought the TED community MUST have some photos somewhere to share...

This country has been put on hold for 30 years. And the younger generation in and outside of it have no memory of it, really, of being anything but a warzone, wasteland. We have such a strong digital culture and digital memory now. Why not "create" an Afghanistan that we want? I created a page that anyone can post on--do you know of anyone who remembers a peaceful Afghanistan in this lifetime? I think it would be nice for young, Internet-connected Afghans to look at :)

A few non-Facebook people have contributed already from Japan and the UK:
https://www.facebook.com/TheAfghanistanIKnow

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    Jan 15 2013: What an interesting idea. When a country has experienced conflict for many decades, whole generations grow up with no concept of peace. Hearing positive stories about the past may help provide a positive vision for their future.
  • Jan 8 2013: Unfortunately Afghanistan has been in a state of war since before I was born but I found some pictures from the "hippie trail" glory days and before that:

    http://www.retronaut.co/2010/10/once-upon-a-time-in-afghanistan/ (this series was in foreign policy magazine behind a pay wall)

    http://anarcholoco.wordpress.com/herat-afghanistan-a-leap-back-in-time/

    http://www.hansroodenburg.nl/trail/afghanistan.htm

    I must say these are mostly from the cities which enjoyed Persian civilization, rural areas were just as backwards as they are today.
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    Jan 8 2013: Seems like a great idea. I think it's worth recognizing that even when a country has some war within, there is still some joy for the people there, some satisfaction in life, some creativity and self-expression.
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      Jan 8 2013: Hi Kate, how awesome would that be? :) It's worth a try, for sure! It's important to revive this Paradise Lost in our lifetime, I think :)

      Hippies were great at passing on messages, sharing and community building! It's a revival :)
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      Jan 8 2013: (while you're at it Kate, document those photos and slides from "Iran, Irag, Jordon and Syria in 1976"--I'm sure that recollection is coming! :) What an amazing year you must have had! What can compare now?)
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    Jan 7 2013: Wow. I must confess you made me smile when I read title of your conversation.

    Afghanistan is a beautiful place with beautiful people. A pity, hate has affected life of innocents for too long now...
  • Jan 7 2013: I WOULD LOVE TO

    But unfortunately I am away from my photo file. I will say that the period in which I was there was when the Russian were there to it wasn't "Peaceful" for them but as Canadian I couldn't walk down Chicken street without being called to "Take Chi" with the shop keepers again and again. Afghanistan and its people were and are wonderful it is oly the enormous Drug demands of Europe and America that give the wrong tribal leaders their $$ and therefore power. And that includes the current President who plays the USA for a chump.
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      Jan 7 2013: I know it's a probably a gargantuan effort to dig up and scan those old photos. But, it is really, a time lost at this point, that can be rebuilt in a way...I hope you're near your photo file sometime soon! Wanna see it! :)

      (I've already tracked down a few amazing documentations!)
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    Jan 29 2013: Thanks Denis, I got your message(s)! Can't wait to see them! Last night, a man who lived there in 66-86, posted dozens of this other-worldly time and place on the FB page. Thanks for tracking some more down :)
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    Jan 28 2013: Great idea! I have a friend who just spent a month doing an amazing photography project in Afghanistan. I will make the connection, her photos are phenomenal!
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    Jan 14 2013: The Soviet war in Afghanistan lasted nine years from December 1979 to February 1989. The reason the Russians intervened is because of the influx of multi-national insurgent groups called the mujahideens. I don't know if you now much about these people. These warriors were trained and provided for by China, Pakistan, the United States and Saudi Arabia, to name a few. There has never been a settled time in Afghanistan since the end of WWII, that I know of. Always turmoil with the lot of the population there.

    The ultimate reason for the conflict is unknown to me. I think it may have something to do with Opium.


    There are no peaceful pictures of that place since before the start of WWI.

    It is still, not a place to visit for curiosities sake. Stay away.
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    Jan 10 2013: That's amazing! Maybe one day I will visit despite the danger.
  • Jan 9 2013: Interesting, however, I am 63 years og age and am unable to recall when there ever was a "peace time" in Afhganistan in that time.
    Pray tell what time frame are you refering too ?
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      Jan 9 2013: I think the country, especially in the rural areas, has always been unstable and crushingly poor. But in the mid 1970s, Kabul and its surrounding areas were accessible, and relatively safe for foreign travellers. These people are who I'm trying to find. I've tracked down some already: https://www.facebook.com/TheAfghanistanIKnow

      Please ask around, in case you might know of people who've saved their photos!
  • Jan 8 2013: Great stuff. We've left a comment on the Facebook wall and will get to work on building out the gallery. Looking forward to this - it's a great idea!
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    Jan 8 2013: Unfortunately, I have never known peace in that area of the world. Pictures of what once was would be amazing! Great conversation!
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      Jan 8 2013: It's like that for me too, but I've met people my parents' age from North America and Europe who've gone, and I was so surprised that that was such a possibility once! For some reason, it is as unlikely as the moon-landing is today :/

      Maybe ask around your circles? If not for this, then just to learn of amazing things that once were! :)
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        Jan 8 2013: It is just sad that the Middle East is thrown into such turmoil all the time. I fear that place will never know a true peace.

        But I will definitely look! Not sure if I will have much luck though lol.
  • Jan 7 2013: Genevieve, this is a great idea! One of my start-ups, The Pre-Digital Project, would love to help you in your effort. We are working on creating a site where people can upload, preserve and share pre-digital photographs like the ones you are hoping to collect here. We can create a special gallery and do a few other nifty things. Let me know if you're interested!

    Jay Waxberg
    http://www.predigitalproject.com/
    t: @predigphotos
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      Jan 8 2013: I'm interested! This conversation is up for a month...I'm afraid that people might disband and forget about it after it is closed :( I'll look through your site and learn how to do it (and email you if I'm confused). I'd like to put up the instructions ASAP in the header so that people can know what to do, if they manage to dig things up!

      Thanks for the suggestion!
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    Jan 7 2013: I wish I had the pictures of the glorious past; but more importantly I hope we'll learn that there is so much to lose to war.
    Let's seek peace and pursue it.