NDAGA

Marla Mossman

Link to Marla Mossman

Photography

 
Silk Spinners, Hotan, China  Harran Couple, Harran, Turkey
 
Boy at Western Wall, Jerusalem, Israel Jelly Seller, Damascus, Syria
   
Bread Seller, Herat  

Marla Mossman's "Peace Caravan"
"Revealing ourselves to strangers is uncomfortable for most people and speaking a different language complicates the process. It helps to go without fear, since trust is the currency of the solo traveler. I think it's my innate honesty, 'looking at people straight in the eye' which allows me to photograph their most private moments.

Nothing could express this more clearly than the photographs of the men, women, and children of Waras, Afghanistan. The images provide a rare glimpse into the lives of the little known Hazara people. The original descendants of Genghis Kahn--the great unifier of the Silk Road, they live in the mountains of central Afghanistan, in the region of the Great Buddhas. Unfortunately and tragically, the Taliban destroyed the Buddhas in 2001. I was the first foreigner to visit this remote area, set deep in the valleys of the Surb Kohn Mountains.

The images allude to the difficult physical efforts required to undertake a journey of this nature. It is not an easy feat to ride on horseback for six days in the cold Afghan mountains. Traveling on the road is no luxury when seeking the authentic and there are no exceptions. The northern terrains of the Silk Road contain rugged, intense mountains making for an arduous journey. Nonetheless, the rewards are worth every ache and sprain. 

Some of the regions I've photographed so far in my journey along the Silk Road--Kabul, Herat, Kashmir, Kurdish Turkey, Northern and Eastern Syria, Xingiang Province, China--are extremely dangerous and the utmost caution, precaution and diligence is taken for my safety.

However, the media today is focused on too many images of war. The Peace Caravan Project has a different mission--illustrating the beauty of the landscapes, the dignity and diversity of the people, to illuminate the beauty of our differences, sharing in the knowledge of our one humanity."

         ~ Marla Mossman