Afghanistan: The Price of Peace
15-year-old Khalil Ahmad had to sacrifice his left kidney at the behest of his parents. They urgently needed the money to feed their eleven children. A cowering and scared little girl, five-year-old Parima was sold to a childless couple.
Begging mothers hold their babies up to car windows, hoping for a little mercy. Begging women and children also sit outside bakeries in Kabul. A desperate mother borrows money and sells her earrings to get her malnourished toddler to a hospital. An internally displaced family forced to make do with a cave for their home; 18 years later they are still living there with their 6 children. Boys who should actually be attending school have to work instead as manual laborers.
Images from a country where bullets now fly more seldomly, but whose population is suffering from droughts, crop failures, displacement, and the collapse of many civil structures. Photographer Mads Nissen called his photo series ‘The Price of Peace’. But even if it is officially called peace, the social conditions in the country engender their own form of violence.
Photographer: Mads Nissen, Denmark (Agentur laif and Agentur Panos Pictures) for Politiken
Mads Nissen, born in 1979, is one of the most renowned photographers worldwide and has already won the World Press Photo Award twice. In his own words, photography is “empathy, closeness and intimacy” which he tries to capture in his photo series covering the violation of human rights and social and political conflicts.
Nissen graduated from the Danish School of Media and Journalism and has been a staff photographer for the daily newspaper Politiken since 2014. His work is also regularly published in leading magazines in Europe and the USA. He has had solo exhibitions in Europe and Latin America. In 2021, Nissen was named ‘Photographer of the Year’ in his home country for the fourth time.