Photojournalist David Pratt has spent almost 40 years capturing indelible images of conflict across the globe, but there is one country which has stamped its place on his life and career.
His work features on BBC Scotland in Pictures from Afghanistan, being shown on Tuesday 24 March from 10-11pm.
As he says in Pictures from Afghanistan: ‘I’ve covered conflicts in Iraq, Syria and the fight against Islamic State. I’ve been on the sharp end in Libya, Congo, Haiti, Central America, Somalia… You name it!
‘But there is one place that means the most to me. I cut my teeth here as a reporter in the 1980s, I saw the horror of civil war in the 90s and the Taliban rising out of the ashes. And I came here after 9/11 when the Americans came here looking for revenge…
‘This is a dangerous place, always has been. But I’ve had some of the best experiences of my life here.’
Through this new hour-long documentary, recently premiered at the Glasgow Film Festival, he aims to demonstrate why Afghanistan, the country and its people are so important to him.
His latest trip back takes him to the Russian Centre for Science and Culture, a site he’d previously photographed when it was a ruin in the frontline – and is now run by Vyacheslav Nekrasov who had been a Russian intelligence officer in the 80s; and to Kabul Zoo, which was also reduced to rubble, but which has become a haven of peace in modern times.
And he reflects on his young days photographing the Mujahideen during the war against the Soviets, and being embedded with British troops out in the field after 9/11. He connects with people with links to that past but very much living with the situation as it is now, including Kabul’s own on-the-ground heroin problem. And he conducts an interview with the Taliban.