Photographers' Blog

Hip, young and in Kabul

Kabul, Afghanistan
By Morteza Nikoubazl

Kabul is a bustling city, full of people who want to see their country become less violent and more stable.

As I documented life in the capital this month, I met lots of young people who shared their thoughts about the future of Afghanistan: painters, actors, musicians, even a rapper.

Afghan music students looks on as they participate a music training session in a cultural and educational center in Kabul, March 7, 2014. REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl

Many had once lived as refugees in my home country, Iran, and some were even born there. But now they were back in their troubled homeland, Afghanistan.

I asked them what made them decide to come back to Afghanistan, a country that is far from being safe or comfortable. The nation has lived through decades of war and violence after the Soviet invasion of 1979, civil war, militant rule and the U.S.-led invasion of 2001. Now Afghanistan is preparing for an election on April 5, it has been hit by a new wave of violence from Taliban militants who want to disrupt the vote.

Afghan men outside the education ministry building in Kabul, March 8, 2014. REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl

In addition to this, people face practical problems. One person I met told me that sometimes, especially during the winter, electricity outages here can last up to 12 hours a day.

“Bosso Fataka” turn trash into sculpture

By Tom Peter

Some call it street art; Bosso Fataka call it “joy in shaping our environment.” The environment that surrounds the four young men of this art group is the streets of Berlin, a city that some say has become Europe’s unofficial capital of unsanctioned art in the public space.

Over twenty years after the reunification, there is an abundance of derelict houses, whole swathes of industrial wasteland and railway arches that afford artists with square kilometers worth of brickwork that’s just asking to be covered in graffiti.

But art being art, this scene’s actors have gone beyond the traditional spray can work. There’s stenciling, urban knitting, urban gardening… you name it. The interested visitor can go on a tour around central Berlin, where well-informed insiders will show you the most notable examples of urban art. Bosso Fataka do what you might call “urban wrapping.”

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