Afghan Diary Extract
Ninteen years ago Langlands & Bell were commissioned by the Imperial War Museum to visit Afghanistan as War Artists. They won a BAFTA and were shortlisted for the Turner Prize for The House of Osama bin Laden, a trilogy of art works that resulted from their visit.
Sunday 13 10 02
At breakfast in our hotel we overheard an American couple enthusiastically discussing a girls’ sewing school they visited the previous day. So they can support themselves and their families, the girls are taught how to make clothes. While half of the girls learn to use the sewing machines, the other half pedal away on Chinese bicycles connected to a generator to provide power. It is such a powerful image and sounds so resourceful that we ask the Afghan lady who took the couple if we might also visit the school. She turns on us immediately “What are you doing in Afghanistan?” she demands……