After the Fall is a body of work by Stewart Weir documenting the fall of the Taliban when the city of Herat was taken over by the Northern Alliance. The images were taken almost 20 years ago, in 2002, shortly after the Twin Towers in the US fell on September 11th, 2001 and the so-called war on terror began in its current form. The event had an impact on most people’s lives, even if they weren’t in the towers themselves or hadn’t lost a loved one. If you’d taken a plane in the last 20 years chances are you’ve been affected — the 100ml liquid hand luggage limit and many other restrictions were imposed post — 9/11. On the other hand, for the people in Afghanistan, the ramifications were far more disruptive and life-changing.
As Weir was told by an interpreter on the day the Taliban suffered defeat nobody believed that they were gone for good. It felt a bit like sweeping your rubbish under the carpet — deliberately hiding the problem in plain sight. The commonly held belief was that the success of the West would only be temporary and, ultimately it would not provide a solution to the region's problems.
The project documents the streets and outskirts of Herat where the Northern Alliance was in control. In the words of the photographer, “people smiled and played football, women were relaxed. Music and video once banned in the shops now reappeared as the areas surrounding Herat were cleared of unexploded munitions”.
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