The most interesting part of how it all started is that Instagram played an important role and was partly an inspiration, as Flore and Edmund noticed that some of their followers were drawn to the surprising images of landscapes and buildings reposted by photographers under hashtags like #EverydayAfghansitan, #EverydayIraq and so on. “Now, we are giving them a chance to translate this interest into direct support for the photographers behind the images they love”, explains Edmund.
The structure of the project is really simple: every four months, they will select images according to a different theme. For the first series, the selected photographers were asked to focus on Architecture in a war zone, such as Sudan, Mali, Yemen or Afghanistan. “Hopefully, we’ll see new ideas for the next series, which may focus more on human activity, such as rituals or traditions”.
The main reason for choosing this theme for a pilot series, according to Flore, is that they didn’t want to focus on a topic that was too conceptual for fear of the brief being lost in translation. “With architecture, the photographers could interpret the theme however loosely or narrowly they wanted to. Secondly, because there has been a lot of coverage of destruction to ancient architecture like the Buddhas of Bamiyan or Palmyra. In the West, we place a lot of value on this kind of cultural heritage”, she says.
“However, what was interesting to see is that many of our photographers didn’t choose to focus on traditional architecture, but rather the architecture of their everyday lived experience. Some of the most interesting photographs in our first edition are of shopping malls and 1970s hotels – not the ancient or ruined buildings we commonly associate with these countries”, Flore continues.
Hedayat Amid thinks as well that photography is a language that every side can understand, feel, and take care of: “Thanks to the power of photography, we can gain both national and international support. For example, after publishing lots of images of civilian causalities in social media, the government and the Taliban are under pressure to not target unarmed men and women in the conflict zones”, he says. Nevertheless, the country is still under attack. “The only thing I hope for the future is to have a peaceful and developed country in the upcoming years”, he continues.