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Photographer's Note

Rural Afghanistan (here the Taloqan irrigated plain, known as the grain basket of Afghanistan for its production of rice and wheat) offers so many scenes such as this one. This is probably the most common scene of daily life you get to see if you walk through villages such as Mollah Karim. Children walking their cows, sheeps, goats or donkeys back home at sunset.

Now to get boring:
The canals you can see on the photo are basically a key asset in people’s livelihood (in the Taloqan plain). These canals are more than 2000 years old (as some archeological studies in the area have shown) and have been maintained through the centuries by local communities to supply villages with drinking water, supply water mills for milling flour or produce electricity, and mostly to irrigate farmers’ fields. The traditional system of water management within the plain has suffered from the last 25 years of war. The emergence of war lords and other influential elites has upset the traditional power balance and local customs regarding natural resource management (like irrigation water), increasing inequities in water sharing. This has led to serious conflicts in some parts of Afghanistan, reviving sometimes tensions between ethnic groups (Pasthu, Uzbeks, Tadjiks, Hazaras…). Of course nothing compared to the wars caused by poppy cultivation (but these ones you heard about, I guess… or at least you are part of the system, at the end of the chain ;-)).

Thanks for all the comments/critics and the green smiling dudes that you give me and which help me being a better man every day (vthomas (2), vthomas (4), go Vincent! go Vincent !).

Technical question:
I don't know why this photo looks very different (in terms of colors and saturation) whether I open it with ACDSee or with Windows picture. It doesn't do that with any other of my snaps (??) I hope you'll see the normal version on your screen...

amstel, sarahnatalie, KevRyan has marked this note useful

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