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A Darkness Visible: Afghanisthan" by Seamus Murphy

With all its troubles, Afghanisthan has become one of the working places of a whole load of photojournalists, starting from the brilliant Steve McCurry. One of the best works on Afghanisthan is Seamus Murphy’s “A Darkness Visible: Afghanisthan”. This story is the result of 14 years of travels in a dangerous and tormented land.

Recently, a collaboration between Seamus Murphy and MediaStorm multimedia production studio has given birth to a terrific documentary based on “A Darkness Visible: Afghanisthan”. The story is touching, and the imagery is superb. You can see the video here.

In the series, takes its place one of my all time favourite photographs. It is a picture of a war-wounded afghan man walking with his crutches.

Seamus Murphy A Darkness Visible: Afghanisthan

Copyright © Seamus Murphy (Click the image to see the whole story)

What do I like about it?

This image has various layers of interpretation. First of all, it is graphically powerful. The rhythm is strong due to the repetition of the huge hole in the background with the silhouette of the man walking.

Second, the theme is strong because we see the effects of the war: a wounded man walking without one leg.

What makes this image still more powerful is the juxtaposition of the man and the repeating pattern of the hole, resembling his wounded shadow. In fact, the hole is what remains of the Buddhas of Bamiyan, destroyed by the talibans because of religious intolerance.

Here, we see a juxtaposition of a war-wounded man and a war-wounded land. This image is just perfect, and one of those cases of photographs worth one thousand words.

This whole series is one I would have been proud to have shot myself. Seamus Murphy is one of the photojournalists I admire the most.

You can also get the “A Darkenss Visible: Afghanisthan” book.


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