If ever a country lends itself to drama – and dramatic images – it is Afghanistan, which once again endured a tumultuous period of its history.
The Taliban’s return to power has transformed life in the rugged and beautiful Central Asian country, with women in particular bearing the brunt of their hardline Islamist rule.
More shocking, perhaps, were a group of university students paraded for photographers in stark black burqas – looking like something from the dystopic novel “The Handmaid’s Tale”.
Also seemingly drawn from fiction were pictures from the desert of desperate men crammed into the back of trucks as they sought to illegally cross the border into Iran. Their masks and goggles made them appear as if they were extras from a Mad Max movie.
An assignment to a settlement outside Herat known as “One Kidney Village” showed, literally, the scars that poverty leave – with people selling their organs in order to feed their families.
Some things never change: the shots of bedraggled drug addicts underneath bridges in the capital city; thousands of displaced people living in tents.
What is new, however, is the overwhelming presence of Taliban fighters everywhere, armed to the teeth and seemingly firmly in control.
Photo by © Bulent Kilic / AFP, © Hoshang Hashimi / AFP, © Wakil Kohsar / AFP