In 2018, Giulio Piscitelli visited EMERGENCY’s Surgical Centres for War Victims in Kabul and Lashkar-Gah, Afghanistan.
He met war victims who continue to face public indifference after 18 years. He gave them names and faces, and discovered their stories.
They are stories where violence punctures daily life without warning. They are stories that reveal the wounds – zakhem, in Dari – left by war.
Shell and shrapnel wounds take centre stage in the photo exhibition because, ultimately, war begins with them.
Deeper wounds are also revealed, however – like the fear and exasperation that never leave you. You have to learn to control them, while everyone else in the world seems to be unaware of it all.
Giulio Piscitelli shows the Afghan people’s strength. His shots transport you into a world that is illuminated, almost unreal – a realm outside time and space. The true nature of war is that it is everywhere and never-ending.
His work has made these wounds comprehensible, simple, powerful, and eloquent.
Zakhem is a story everyone will understand.
Photo copyright: © Giulio Piscitelli for EMERGENCY