Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Who knew the Taliban liked Andy Warhol?

I am not even joking when I say that Mumbles
looked alot like the guy on the left in law school

In keeping with my theme this week of things that creep me out, I stumbled across this very strange collection of pictures from awhile ago (courtesy of an old post from The Culture Spoon via instapundit). When the Taliban fled Kandahar in late-2001 one of the things left behind were these portraits they had taken at local photo "studios" but hadn't yet picked up. Freelance photographer Thomas Dvorak found and purchased them from the Kandahar photographers who claimed that most of the subjects were probably dead anyway.

What is truly bizarre is how amazingly effeminate the photos are. I suppose this might be partially explained by an amateur photographer who was ham-handedly trying to create some atmosphere or maybe had a suicidal sense of humor, perhaps the subjects might not have fully appreciated the whole scene. Perhaps the same photographer with the same equipment could have done equally disturbing photos of folks from rural Americana. But, I mean, even given some latitude for cultural differences and some undoubted cherry-picking of the most extreme examples these are REALLY effeminate. Many have eyeliner, carry flowers (and guns), hold hands and stand in front of photos of some random Swiss chalets or something. I would kick a photographer's ass if he pulled this crap on me, and I don't live in a broken culture ruled by gun-wielding religious fanatics who kill homosexuals as a matter of policy (despite characterizations put forth by certain kooky elements of American counter-culture). Perhaps there is a specific custom which explains them which I would love to learn if someone can share it.

Anyway, enjoy --or be creeped out by-- these strange artifacts of one of the strangest failed national social experiments in modern times (choice selections after the break and check out the whole collection here):

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