Photographer, journalist and filmmaker Lalage Snow was born 1981 in the war-zone of Belfast. She worked for a number of national and international publications as a writer. Since 2007 she worked as stringer for several international agencies such as Agence France Presse and has freelanced in The Middle East, Europe, Central and South East Asia before moving to Kabul, Afghanistan in 2010. She has also worked on projects with Oxfam, Afghan Aid, Save The Children, Human Rights Watch and Women for Women International. Snow is currently based in London
CONFLICT AREA / COUNTRY OF REFERENCE: AFGHANISTAN, MIDDLE EAST
Paradise Lost is a fresh way of looking at conflict through the eyes of those living in it; it is a study of people who use gardens as a means not just of growing food and beautifying their surroundings but also of resistance and therapy.
Having lived in Kabul since 2010, I realised that behind the headlines and images of chaos and bloodshed exists a country most people never see - a country with a colourful culture and a stubborn dedication to horticulture. I began photographing private gardens and through the personal narratives of the gardeners saw a different side to the ongoing conflict. Today, Afghanistan struggles to redefine itself in a maelstrom terror and insecurity. However, in a former life, Kabul was a green city. Trees protected the city from mountain dust and its walled gardens were an earthly paradise giving shade, food and private family space. Indeed, the Mujahuddein and Taliban were more interested in their gardens than the checkpoints they manned when they were in power. As the young Afghan soldiers who enjoy the benefits of one such garden say, ‘Green is happiness, green is peace. Who doesn’t like that?’
Paradise Lost examines the importance of gardens in war-ravaged countries as a means of creativity, therapy, hope and the common bond of humanity they instill. Paradise Lost aims to inspire audiences to re-engage with conflict and the innocents caught up in its battle on an empathetic level and to understand that even in chaos, beauty can still prosper.
Photographs, 2010 - ongoing
© Artraker CIC 2014