Stewart Weir’s Afghanistan, After the Fall

2020-02-21 – Feature

Afghanistan, War

During the first world war, field bakeries became a staple within every infantry division. The demands of war later forced a huge expansion of the bakeries which provided bread, a staple ration of each soldier. Following on from this, field bakeries became a necessity within war torn countries and started being introduced by charities into local communities that were in a state of disrepair. In this case, the field bakeries created jobs for local people which taught them vital skills which were transferable across the world.

In 2001, Stewart Weir was sent out on a photographic assignment to cover the creation of a field bakery in North East Afghanistan for leading charity, War Child. Identified by War child as one of the most desperate places for aid at the time, North Afghanistan was an area that was experiencing a critical state of crisis. Dropped into Herat on a Turkmenistan transport plane, filled with generators and a mobile bakery. Weir was commissioned to document streets of Herat and in the Shadiyee refugee camp just outside of Herat. The aim was to document the creation of the field bakery itself for future PR needs. This bakery fed between 18,000 and 24,000 internally displaced people at the camp in Herat for over ten months later to Weir making this series.

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