November-December 2014 … The Global Online Magazine of Arts, Information & Entertainment … Volume 10, Number 6
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David Murphy/Photography


At the foothills of the Hindu kush.

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from Northern Afghanistan


David Murphy was born on Easter Sunday, 1983.

He is currently a renewing English Language Fellow in Toluca, Mexico.  He previously worked in Afghanistan on a World Bank project and in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.  In Afghanistan, he served as a consultant-lecturer, and, later, as Administrative Director of a World Bank project to develop higher education at Balkh University in Mazar-e-Sharif.  In Riyadh, he worked as the Curriculum Supervisor in King Saud University, which, with 11,000 students, is the largest preparatory year in the Middle East.

In his free time, he skateboards and photographs people and places.


Portraits of Afghanistan

[img src=]300August 28, 2009
August 28, 2009
[img src=]200August 28, 2009
August 28, 2009
[img src=]150August 28, 2009
August 28, 2009
[img src=]130August 28, 2009
August 28, 2009
[img src=]100August 28, 2009
August 28, 2009
[img src=]110August 28, 2009
August 28, 2009
[img src=]90August 28, 2009
August 28, 2009
[img src=]70August 31, 2009
August 31, 2009
[img src=]90September 2, 2009
September 2, 2009
[img src=]90 September 2, 2009
September 2, 2009
[img src=]140September 21, 2009
September 21, 2009
[img src=]110June 4, 2010
June 4, 2010

 About the Photographs

These photographs were taken in northern Afghanistan, mainly in Balkh province, during an 18-month period from the summer of 2009 til December 2010.  At this time, there was war in Afghanistan, and the entire country was classified as a conflict zone.  The photographs were taken with two very specific intentions: to have fun with photography, and to show the dignity and human compassion of Afghanistan’s people.  Since the early 1970s, when Russia invaded Afghanistan, the country has been a fighting ground, and, while there are physical and mental scars to show the dearth that walks hand-in-hand with war, there are many Afghans who have grins on their faces, and the irrepressible happiness of the Afghan children brings hope and smiles.

Sometimes photographers are asked which is their favorite photo of the collection.  Mine is that of the camels walking under the moon towards the mountains.  The space south of Mazar-e-Sharif (provincial capital of Balkh and where the camel photo was taken) is one that lies at the foothills of the Hindu Kush mountain chain, and the space is a green, fertile one in the spring and summer.  These men with camels are traders, and the burlap sacks on the camels’ backs contain straw.  They make a regular trek back and forth to the city — each journey takes 18 hours, including the time spent in Mazar.  The camels and men in this photo are walking south, and after a while, they will pass beneath an ancient archway made of clay bricks and stone that lies beneath a mountain pass, and, on the other side of this archway they will follow a river (when it has enough water to run), and into their small, green village which is built up on the interior of the mountain range.  There, the weather is cooler and fresher, and there are sheep, heavy mists, and steep paths between the mud-brick houses.

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To the question, “What do you shoot with”? 

“I shoot with a Canon 50D, with an 18 – 200 mm lens, which is a walk-around lens for most people, and one that, if I had the money, I would trade in for a smaller Leica M9 — which is less likely to get me shot if I’m taking photos in unfriendly places.  Such big cameras attract too much attention.”


See more of David’s work at: