By William Carter

Photographer, Author, Jazz Musician

Posts Tagged ‘photography

Seeds of Today’s Headlines

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plus some heartwarming responses

by William Carter

Mullah Mustafa Barzani, 1965

Mullah Mustafa Barzani, 1965

Running in this space for several months, my Kurdish blogs attracted wide attention, not least from the Kurds themselves. Seeing unknown, 50-year-old photographs of their own legendary founding hero, Mullah Mustafa Barzani (left), was a heart-warming revelation.

One non-Kurd who responded was Chris Kutschera, who runs a photo archive in Paris dedicated to his and others’ photographs from Kurdistan, and to his several books and many articles on the Kurds. Chris has added a number of my 1965 photographs to his ongoing collection, which can be visited at www.chris-kutschera.com

These days I get up early to scour the headlines for the latest news of the Kurdish peshmergas’ valiant struggle against the ISIS marauders in Syria and Iraq, helped by U.S. airdrops of supplies. Those of you who see the New Yorker magazine can read Dexter Filkins’ recent report in depth and detail on these special people.

Over the years visiting journalists, including myself, have admired these proud and independent folks to the point of struggling to maintain professional objectivity on the ins and outs of their long-running struggle for “autonomy” within existing Iraq, Turkey, and Syria — or, one day perhaps, independence as a separate nation.

One Kurd who responded to my photographs of the ancient Mesopotamian stones was Kozad Ahmed.  A Kurdish archeologist born in Baghdad in 1967 (two years after my visit), he contextualized those stones in his detailed 2012 Ph.D. thesis at the University of Leiden in Holland, titled “The Beginnings of Ancient Kurdistan” (c. 2500-1500): A Historical and Cultural Synthesis.” Evidently those stones were smuggled out of the village of Betwata the 1970s, auctioned in Geneva and are now in museums in Jerusalem and Baghdad.

Written by bywilliamcarter

October 27, 2014 at 6:35 pm

Those Teens Part 8

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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.

teens8.1Yemen, c. 1965

teens8.2Gaza, c. 1993

teens8.3California, c. 1972

teens8.4Indiana, c. 1972

teens8.5Washington, c. 1962

teens8.6Illinois, c. 1973

teens8.7California, c. 1970

Written by bywilliamcarter

October 3, 2014 at 12:00 pm

Reliable Friends; Tough Territory

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Mullah Mustafa Barzani

1. Mullah Mustafa Barzani

In this resumption of my series on the Kurds of northern Iraq, we celebrate — in black and white — their famous 20th century political and military leader: Mullah Mustafa Barzani. Today, his descendants in Erbil and Baghdad carry on their people’s long push for autonomy.

It is hard for Americans to appreciate the depth and tenacity of this struggle. Following the centuries-long dissolution of the Ottoman empire, dozens of tribal and linguistic groups still struggle to survive the shifting sands of Middle Eastern politics. It remains a tough neighborhood. And Mullah Mustafa’s toughness is evident in these pictures.

Democratic ideals projected through a Western lens can go only so far in this region — something well worth admitting now, amid the shifting sands of power politics. Memories of Beirut in the 1970s remind us of the temporary nature of all alliances within and among a myriad of subgroups and special or outside interests. Deeply rooted habits of splintering, betrayal, and infighting survive every “boots on the ground” intervention.

The Kurds remain staunch friends of the U.S. They have major petroleum reserves. The Americans have been blocking the Kurds from selling their oil directly on the international market. However, instead of clinging to the unworkable fantasy of rebuilding a tripartite, failed state of Iraq, the Americans should encourage these proud mountain people to make whatever “declaration of independence” they feel they can handle — supported by oil sales.

In a time of softening frontiers, ethnic affinity between the Iraqi Kurds and those in Turkey and Syria raise questions — and opportunities. Last summer, a retired CIA Director whispered to me that certain of America’s close friends in the region would applaud a Kurdish diversification of the sourcing and supply of Middle Eastern petroleum on world markets.

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Iraqi Kurdistan 1965: photographs © William Carter

 

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Written by bywilliamcarter

August 23, 2014 at 12:22 am

Those Teens Part 7

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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.

ateens7.1jpgEngland, c. 1967

teens7.2Iraq, c. 1965

teens7.3California, c. 1960

teens7.4Illinois, c. 1973

teens7.5California, c. 1974

teens7.6Yemen, c. 1964

teens7.7Tibet, c. 1992

Written by bywilliamcarter

August 19, 2014 at 12:00 pm

Those Teens Part 6

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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.

teens6.1Virginia, c. 2010

teens6.2Virginia, c. 2011

teens6.3Illinois, c. 1972

teens6.4Illinois, c. 1972

teens6.5Illinois, c. 1972

teens6.6England, c. 1964

teens6.7England, c. 1964

teens6.8Yemen, c. 1964

Written by bywilliamcarter

August 5, 2014 at 12:00 pm

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

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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

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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

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