By William Carter

Photographer, Author, Jazz Musician

Those Teens Part 5

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With the present series of posts. I bring together photographs made from 1958 to 2014 — 56 years — highlighting teenagers from cultures worldwide. Where it is sometimes not obvious if someone is technically a teen, or a bit younger or older, I have opted to be inclusive.

Wide differences of time and place, class and society are obvious in this series. More and more, though, my way of seeing has been to look past the external differences — toward the humanity, the soul that unites.

teens5.1Iraq, c. 1965

teens5.2Iraq, c. 1965

teens5.3Indiana, c. 1972

teens5.4Kansas, c. 1971

teens5.5England, c. 1967

teens5.6England, c. 1967

Written by bywilliamcarter

July 22, 2014 at 12:00 pm

More on the Iraqi Kurds

with 5 comments


Barzani’s Legacy Persists

 

Because 2014 may be a decisive year for the Iraqi Kurds, a flood of enthusiastic responses poured in from my recent blog which featured photos of their legendary leader, Mullah Mustafa Barzani, and other memories of my trip through their beautiful homeland.

Here, then, are more of those Kodachrome slides shot with my Leicas on assignment from LIFE in 1965.

Photographs © William Carter

Barzani-096

1. Mullah Mustafa Barzani, spring 1965

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2. Mullah Mustafa Barzani, spring 1965

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3. Kurdish Peshmergas en route

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4. I hiked for two weeks with these tough survivors

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5. Hospitality in a local village

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6. A local sheik dressed accordingly

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7. The girls were no slouches, either

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8. Proudly singing traditional songs in the Kurdish language

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9. Peaceable Kurdistan lacks a seaport but has oil which the U.S. currently blocks the world from buying

Written by bywilliamcarter

July 9, 2014 at 3:11 am

“All That is Ours!”

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Barzani-gesture

IRAQ, 1965: Mullah Mustafa Barzani, historic leader of Kurdish pesh merga resistance fighters, gestures toward the oil-rich city of Kirkuk. Forty-nine years later, has the Kurds’ historic longing for full independence finally become a reality?

By William Carter

In a top-secret mountain setting — he moved continuously because the Baghdad government had placed a huge bounty on his head — Mullah Mustafa Barzani had granted me an extraordinary interview because I was on assignment from the then-influential magazine, LIFE.  Speaking Kurdish through a translator, he recited highlights of his proud people’s long history of partition and betrayal, and obliquely thanked the US for the diplomatic and tangible support the Americans were already supplying covertly via their then-ally, Iran.  I myself had been smuggled in from the Shah’s kingdom, dressed as a Kurdish nomad and crossing the river frontier on a donkey after midnight.

After the interview and photographs I resumed my weeks-long journey by foot on donkey westward through the spectacular mountain landscape, dotted with spring wildflowers and hospitable tiny villages.  My guide was one of Barzani’s commanders, Colonel Akrawi, who spoke excellent English and who, when he was not conducting raids on Iraqi police stations, was collecting plant specimens for a book he was writing on Kurdish botany.  After a miserable night in a canyon village being shelled by the Iraqis, we arrived, one late afternoon, at a spectacular clearing and lookout point.

Below us, to the west, strings of lights outlining the Kirkuk oil fields were beginning to wink on; beyond lay the relatively large city of Kirkuk itself.

With a wide, proud sweep of his arm, the personable Colonel Akrawi said softly but very firmly, “All that is ours.”

This spring of 2014 my wife and I were invited to travel to the modern city of Erbil, Kurdistan as honored guests to meet Massoud Barzani, Mullah Mustafa’s son, who, with other Kurds, had, after the fall of Saddam Hussein, occupied high posts in the Baghdad regime. (I believe I photographed him as a child 49 years ago.) At 80, We declined the offer, partly because of kidnapping worries. Just as well we weren’t there last week when the ISIS Islamic fundamentalists came marauding through northwestern Iraq — although I would have had my camera ready!

Now may be a pivotal moment for the Kurds.  With their extraordinary bravery, organization, newly won oil income and fierce in-group identity vis-a-vis Arab domination, they may emerge as the only winners amid the long-drawn-out failure of the artificially conceived, ethnically impossible, divide-and-rule “state” concocted by colonialists drawing ruler lines across maps in London and Paris a century ago.

The new threat — and old spirit — were summed up by the head of Kirkuk’s regional police force: as reported by Joe Parkinson in The Wall Street Journal on June 20, 2014: “I’m from Kirkuk and I’m ready to die to protect it.”

Kodachrome photographs June, 1965 © William Carter

Barzani-closeup

Mullah Mustafa Barzani, 1965

 

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Peshmergas in the cliffs above Kirkuk

 

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Same guys with a little sponsorship from (then) U.S. friends in Iran

 

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Modern weaponry in support of tribal traditions — what else is new?

 

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Norther Iraq is not a desert, and the Kurds are not Arabs

 

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Peshmergas at dusk: is the moon finally
rising over Kurdish independence?

 

Akrawi-closeup

Colonel Akrawi had been trained at Sandhurst, England. He was my guide and companion for 3 weeks. Years later I heard he had been wounded and eventually died in Switzerland. But what ever happened to the book Akrawi was writing on Kurdish botany, as our platoon
hiked through scenes like that below?

 

Kurd-wildflowers

Written by bywilliamcarter

June 23, 2014 at 4:54 pm

Those Teens Part 4

with 3 comments


With the present series of posts. I bring together photographs made from 1958 to 2014 — 56 years — highlighting teenagers from cultures worldwide. Where it is sometimes not obvious if someone is technically a teen, or a bit younger or older, I have opted to be inclusive.

Wide differences of time and place, class and society are obvious in this series. More and more, though, my way of seeing has been to look past the external differences — toward the humanity, the soul that unites.

teens4.1New York, c. 1963

teens4.2England, c. 1961

teens4.3California, c. 1972

teens4.4Jordan, c. 1993

teens4.5Iraq, c. 1965

teens4.6Washington, c. 1962

Written by bywilliamcarter

June 10, 2014 at 12:00 pm

Those Teens Part 3

with 3 comments


With the present series of posts. I bring together photographs made from 1958 to 2014 — 56 years — highlighting teenagers from cultures worldwide. Where it is sometimes not obvious if someone is technically a teen, or a bit younger or older, I have opted to be inclusive.

Wide differences of time and place, class and society are obvious in this series. More and more, though, my way of seeing has been to look past the external differences — toward the humanity, the soul that unites.

teens3.1California, c. 1978

teens3.2California, c. 1973

teens3.3Minnesota, c. 1973

teens3.4Minnesota, c. 1973

teens3.5England, c. 1964

teens3.6England, c. 1964

teens3.7Tibet, c. 1992

Written by bywilliamcarter

May 27, 2014 at 12:00 pm

Those Teens Part 2

with 5 comments


With the present series of posts. I bring together photographs made from 1958 to 2014 — 56 years — highlighting teenagers from cultures worldwide. Where it is sometimes not obvious if someone is technically a teen, or a bit younger or older, I have opted to be inclusive.

Wide differences of time and place, class and society are obvious in this series. More and more, though, my way of seeing has been to look past the external differences — toward the humanity, the soul that unites.

teens2.1California, c. 2013

teens2.2California, c. 2013

teens2.3California, c. 2013

teens2.4Virginia, c. 2011

teens2.5California, c. 2011

teens2.6California, c. 2011

teens2.7California, c. 2013

teens2.8

California, c. 2012

Written by bywilliamcarter

May 13, 2014 at 12:00 pm

Those Teens Part 1

with 4 comments


With the present series of posts. I bring together photographs made from 1958 to 2014 — 56 years — highlighting teenagers from cultures worldwide.  Where it is sometimes not obvious if someone is technically a teen, or a bit younger or older, I have opted to be inclusive.

Wide differences of time and place, class and society are obvious in this series. More and more, though, my way of seeing has been to look past the external differences — toward the humanity, the soul that unites.

teens1.1
Germany, c. 2012

teens1.2

California, c. 2012

teens1.3

Lebanon, c. 1965

teens1.4

Lebanon, c. 1965

teens1.5

Indiana, c. 1972

teens1.6

Syria, c. 1964

teens1.7

Lebanon, c. 1965

teens1.8

Iraq, c. 1965

teens1.9

California, c. 2014

Written by bywilliamcarter

April 29, 2014 at 12:00 pm

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