A photographer in a combat zone: ‘Do I work? Or do I help?’

The vehicles with blown-out windscreens stood out, as did the demolished shopfronts. Things like this led photojournalist Andrew Quilty nearer and nearer to the center of floor zero in Kabul, the place a bomb had been detonated, following the autumn of Afghanistan to the Taliban.

“That’s what I moved towards. And eventually, I got there,” he says. “And at the centre of it was this pile of bodies, probably 20 bodies, some of them still alive.”

That was when Quilty skilled a second few individuals do of their skilled life, however which comes with the territory when taking pictures inside such fight zones. That second when you have got a query to reply: “Do I work? Or do I help?” Quilty says. “You really have no time to make a decision at all. I think I did a bit of both.”

Quilty was talking on the most recent episode of Good Weekend Talks — {a magazine} in your ears, through which high journalists from throughout our newsrooms host conversations with the individuals capturing the creativeness of Australia proper now.

Quilty is the main focus of a function story on this Saturday’s Good Weekend — “As the Taliban advanced on Kabul, Andrew Quilty landed at its airport” — and the award-winning photographer is joined in dialog by the creator of that piece, Good Weekend senior author Tim Elliott, for a chat about life in that nation.


Kabul had grow to be Quilty’s residence, in spite of everything, and the individuals who lived there his group, which made wrestling with the horrible fallout from the US withdrawal there in 2021 all of the extra emotional, but in addition harmful.

“There was so much uncertainty,” Quilty notes. “We had no idea how we were going to be tolerated by the Taliban. I think their taking of Kabul had come as a surprise even to them. All of a sudden, they were policing the city, having to deal with issues like the media: ‘Do we even allow them to work?’”

Good Weekend Talks provides readers the prospect to dive deep into the definitive tales of the day, exploring the occasions and people capturing the curiosity of Australians, by means of weekly conversations, with an array of particular company. Listen to extra episodes by subscribing to Good Weekend Talks wherever you get your podcasts.

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