The Mountains of Majeed
The Mountains of Majeed is a reflection on the end of the war in Afghanistan through photography, found imagery and Taliban poetry. It looks at the experience of the vast majority of military personnel and civilian contractors who have serviced ‘Operation Enduring Freedom’ without ever engaging the enemy. Their vision of Afghanistan is what they see over the perimeters, or represented inside the walls, of enclaves like Bagram Airbase, the biggest base of ‘Operation Enduring Freedom’ and home from home for 40,000 personnel.
Inside a dining facility at Bagram I found a series of simple paintings of mountains and monuments showing a different Afghanistan, by an Afghan artist called Majeed. These transcend the confines of the base taking the viewer to idealised passes and lakes in the Hindu Kush and other ranges.
There is distance between our mountains. Vistas of tranquillity fabricated by hand from canvas, wood and paint, and images captured in high resolution by the latest digital technology. And there is convergence. Both are mountains forever beyond boots confined within walls of occupation. Both are representations of enduring freedom; and in both the mountains belong to Majeed.