© Wendy Marijnissen


I’ve just returned for the incredible Northern area of Afghanistan called Badakshan.  A mountainous and remote area where nature is overwhelming and life rough. It’s a place where most people lack basic necessities like running water and electricity. Health care is provided but most people live so far away from the nearest health facility that they often come too late and this being the reason why maternal mortality is still the highest here then anywhere in the world.

We drove hours on end to get there and along the way you see the most beautiful vistas but also pass some of the most horrible roads, tunnels (Salang) and dangerous areas (Kunduz provice).

© Wendy Marijnissen


The first time since arriving in Afghanistan, I stayed with a host family and got to experience the normal Afghan life at home. With it came the most delicious home cooked food as well and I enjoyed spending my time with the women of the household. It still very much is a separate affair. Women and men hardly mix and there are different rooms for receiving male and female guests etc…

Another challenge proved to be photographing women. Even from a very early age they seem to be trained to turn away from the moment they see the camera raised to ones eye. Even on official functions or when they are very aware you are making a photograph of them, they will later come and say they don’t want you to use it because it’s not done in their culture and they could get in a lot of trouble with their families. When you hear about the woman in Parwan province being executed by the Taliban for so called ‘adultery’ while all the men of the village cheer, when you hear about the murder of Hanifa Sapi, head of the provincial office of Women’s Affairs of Lagman province, the many girl schools being attacked or students being poisoned, you have to take their concerns seriously. And even so,  you always have to respect the wishes of people and show some cultural sensitivity towards the people you photograph. It seems to be a problem nowadays in photography and it often just goes about getting the image quickly without thinking about the consequences for the people in the photograph. As long as they have the images, that’s all that counts…

© Wendy Marijnissen


More images to come in the next days. But for now I’m trying to set up some more things here in Kabul and also try to rest up after this incredible week. I seem to have slept for 12 hours last night, so it seemed it was very necessary 🙂

© Wendy Marijnissen

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One thought on “Badakshan

  1. nonoymanga says:

    It looks like a high adventure!!! Cheers Nonoy Manga

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