In the News: Pakistan

One thing I think we’re going to try to do here is underline important news from around the world with solid photojournalism .. because, lets be honest, it doesn’t often enough get paired up on its own.

A great exception was this past Sunday’s New York Times Magazine article entitled “Talibanistan: Right at the Edge” with words by Dexter Filkins and pictures by Lynsey Addario

Lead image from the New York Times Magazine story

The piece itself by Mr. Filkins is a tremendous piece of timely, long-form journalism. He is a committed journalist who has dedicated himself to the story and is very much the expert on his region (don’t just take my word for it, the amazing Foreign Policy Magazine Blog calls it a “must-read” essay. The estimable and hard-to-impress echoes the same words and adds “it is worth putting all else aside to read it.”)

As the New York Times Magazine is oft to do, it has paired some great photography from the ground by Lynsey Addario. Unfortunately there were only four pictures with the story, and I’m sure there are many more in a nice edit somewhere else. For now, here is another of my favorites from her work:

Lynsey Addario for The New York Times  BE GOOD: This sign in a marketplace in Peshawar, the conservative Pakistani city close to the Afghanistan border, says, “God is watching,” which means that the Taliban are, too.

What first got me thinking about this post was the fact that just a day or two after I read this article in the Magazine I saw the news breaking from the front of the New York Times: “Bush Said to Give Orders Allowing Raids in Pakistan”. The Magazine’s piece had foreshadowed the fact that the US had been running secret missions inside Pakistan’s borders, near Afghanistan, against some of the very same factions interviewed by Filkins. Fascinating to see these kind of things come together.

There is plenty more interesting and important work that has come out of Pakistan recently, foreshadowing all of the recent news, that has for me at least put new attention on this country and its politics. In other words, I had seen these photographs and read some stories but because of this breaking news this week, and its definite connection to the rising challenges in Afghanistan (which are hitting very close to home, more on this later), I’m paying a whole new kind of attention. It is great to now revisit some of the stories and of course the photographs.

Here’s some: one of my all-time favorites Alex Majoli has spent considerable time over the last year “photographing the political, social and religious aspects of the present day problems” for his story “Internal Pressure in Pakistan”, to be seen over at the Magnum site. I don’t know if, or for whom, he has been on assignment for this work .. if you know, I would love to see what kind of stories it is running with.

Alex Majoli PAKISTAN. Peshawar. 2008. Poster for the election.
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