From A to Z: Antrim and Zalmai
In the past several weeks, I have been blessed with developing a relationship with two world class photographers, a beautiful American woman named Antrim Caskey (http://www.antrimcaskey.com), and a Swiss citizen of Afghan heritage, Zalmai (http://www.zalmai.com). The two of them are a rare find here amidst the ravages of war. They met here in Kabul about seven months ago at the opening of a Shakespeare in the Park performance of Love's Labour's Lost...(Yes, I am talking about here in Kabul. Imagine that in a war zone and you may begin to question reckless doom and gloom editorial's like last week's NY Times piece "Losing Afghanistan") But they met here about seven months ago and have been working together ever since. Antrim, ("You know, like Tantrum but without the T" - in her own words) has documented Afghanistan previously, but most recently has been focused on her adorted home of New York City. Her recent focus is on the role of women in Afghanistan. We are trying to facilitate getting her access to the women of the Afghan National Army, alongside 2LT Straub to collaboratively portray some of the roles women are performing daily in this emerging state.
Zalmai is an artist that needs little introduction. We met him the other week at the event downtown in Kabul. His work has been featured in Time, Newsweek, Human Rights Watch and as a gallery showing at the United Nations. His focus is on the plight of refugees, especially in his homeland of Afghanistan. His newest project is focused on the work being done by the Afghan National Army. Some of that at the facilitation of the ISAF (NATO) forces here, but increasginly on their own.
From A to Z, I hope that we can facilitate the access of artists to the work that is rebuilding this country. Step by step, things are improving and for native sons like Zalmai, it is an extraordinary change. It is essential that the world not abandon this nation in its time of need. So much good is happening here and it is so nice to witness.
It is nice to be in a position to develop relationships with artists and journalists as well as service members. It is an honor to befriend the talented vision of such creative minds from A to Z.