THE MOUNTAINS OF MAJEED by Edmund Clark

歴史や政治問題などを主題とするイギリス人アーティスト、エドモンド・クラーク(Edmund Clark)の作品集。アフガニスタンでのタリバン政権に対しアメリカ合衆国と英国によって2001年10月に開始された軍事作戦「Operation Enduring Freedom(不朽の自由作戦)」の終焉を作家自身の写真とファウンドフォト、タリバン人の詩で表現している。アフガニスタンにあるバグラム飛行場には、アフガニスタン国内で最も大きいアメリカ軍基地があり、周囲にはヒンドゥークシュ山脈がそびえ立ち、その中に米軍基地が埋め込まれているように存在している。作者は軍の壁の内側に描かれた景色画とその後ろに迫る山々を不気味なディストピア(地獄郷)のように映し出している。壁や金網の向こう側からのアフガニスタンの人々が見ている自国、決して離れることのない方領内で見ているものの二つの視点を提示している。

The Mountains Of Majeed is a reflection on the end of ‘Operation Enduring Freedom’ in Afghanistan through photography, found imagery and Taliban poetry. Edmund Clark looks at the experience of the vast majority of military personnel and contractors who have serviced Enduring Freedom without ever engaging the enemy. He distils their war down to a concise series of photographs of the two views they have of Afghanistan: what they see of the country over the walls or through the wire of their bases, and what they see of representations within these enclaves that they never leave. At Bagram Airfield, the biggest American base in Afghanistan and home to 40,000, the view outside is dominated by the mountains of the Hindu Kush. Embedded with the U.S. military, Clark’s photographs show a dystopian relationship between the looming presence of the mountains around Bagram and the man-made landscape within the walls. Inside he found mountains appropriated for murals in conference rooms and propaganda on walls.On the wall of a dining facility a series of paintings by an artist called Majeed take the viewer to a different Afghanistan of lush mountain passes. Clark says: ‘Their location on the wall of a dining facility on America’s main base is significant. How many tens of thousands of pairs of western eyes have registered the pastoral peace of these mountainscapes? Has anyone considered what they say of the country they are playing a part in occupying?’Wars of resistance are characterised by technologically-advanced powers in fortified enclaves fighting far less sophisticated but fluid insurgents hidden in the landscape, sapping the occupiers’ resources and will. The Mountains of Majeed vividly illustrates this endgame to the war in Afghanistan. Two sides divided by concrete walls and a gulf in technology and understanding. At Bagram the local insurgents still send rudimentary rockets into the concrete and gravel of the world’s busiest military airfield. Like the mountains in which they hide they are ever present; watching beyond the walls, waiting for the end of Enduring Freedom.

by Edmund Clark

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softcover
32 pages + 6 pages cover
360 x 290 mm
color
limited edition of 450 copies
2014

published by HERE PRESS