My interest in the subject matter of photography was spurred by an elderly Afghan woman named Ayesha. Seated on the floor of her home in September 2009 she asked me if I would take her photo. She said,

See the wrinkles on my face. Each wrinkle forms part of a tapestry that the women of Afghanistan are weaving so that the world will remember what we are going through. Sit with the women and listen to their stories. Each woman will tell you how violence has impacted our lives. Once you have collected their stories, imagine them as forming part of a tapestry. The tapestry will not be complete until Afghanistan is rebuilt by its people, not outsiders.

Her words remained with me in 2020 as I viewed three dozen photos I took during my ethnographic research in Kabul (in the fall of 2008 and fall of 2009), and Vancouver,...

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