Paula Bronstein’s monograph ‘Afghanistan: Between Hope and Fear’ shows a side of war which doesn’t make the news – everyday life. In the 2016 book, the cloak of politics is lifted and the benefits of her unique female access come to the fore. We find ourselves in a hospital room with a woman who delivers a stillborn baby. We’re sitting with a classroom of girls avidly raising their hands in a makeshift tent, which barely shelters from the Afghan sun.
The Afghan war, which Bronstein has been covering since 2001, has become the longest war in US history. Bronstein’s painterly talent goes beyond news imagery to illustrate the tragic consequences of war for citizens. Her photographs present, as Bronstein says, “Just Afghan daily life.”
And yet, as discussed in the interview, whether (young) photo editors value what seasoned professionals like Bronstein – with over 35 years of experience – have to offer is debatable.