Afghan girls teaching Afghan girls! A pic from Skateistan’s Facebook page.
Skateistan is a Kabul-based Afghan NGO (Non-Governmental Organization), which is non-political, independent, and inclusive of all ethnicities, religions and social backgrounds.
The simplicity of using skateboarding as a tool for empowerment is really moving, and even better: It works.
An Afghan Army soldier huddled behind a building as snow falls. He sorta looks like he’s dressed warm enough for the small amount of snow but he doesn’t look happy at all.
Chinese Uighurs learned how to disassemble a Kalashnikov rifle at the Zhawar training complex in Khost, Afghanistan. The Zhawar training camps were used by Arab-Afghan fighters and were partially funded by Osama bin Laden and Pakistan’s military intelligence agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence. May 1990. Robert Nickelsberg.
Against the British Empire
afraid-to-run asked: can you please recommend good books to recommend to ignorant english folk about the british empire in all it’s disgusting glory?
Good question. I can speak from the South Asian experience of it; the Subcontinent - present day India, Pakistan, and to an extent Afghanistan. Before getting in the books I’d recommend, you should tell those who support British imperialism that life back then wasn’t as glorious as historians make it look like. With the basics:
- Indian economy was the second largest economy in the world until the British came. During British rule (1857 to 1947) Indian economy grew at zero percent. That India did not grow for 90 years (when Industrial revolution was rewarding Europe and the US) is a tragic outcome of colonial rule’s lack of interest and incompetence. Credit goes to laissez faire capitalism pursued by India after 1992 and American capital market’s confidence and investments in India for India’s emergence as the second fastest growing economy in the world today.
- The subcontinent suffered too many famines during the British rule mostly attributable to mismanagement by the Empire.
- The British Empire encouraged biased stratification in the subcontinental societies based on caste, color and creed. This continues to exist in modern day South Asia where social markers like these control the fates of many.
- Many pro-Empire theorists argue that the British built modern cities with modern conveniences but it should be noted that these were exclusive zones not intended for the “natives” to enjoy.
- There is another popular belief about British rule: ‘The British modernized Indian agriculture by building canals.’ But the actual record reveals a completely different story. “The roads and tanks and canals,” noted an observer in G. Thompson’s “India and the Colonies”, ”which Hindu or Mussulman (Muslim) governments constructed for the service of the nations and the good of the country have been suffered to fall into dilapidation; and now the want of the means of irrigation causes famines.” Montgomery Martin, in his standard work “The Indian Empire”, in 1858, noted that the old East India Company “omitted not only to initiate improvements, but even to keep in repair the old works upon which the revenue depended.” They screwed the natives over again.
- In the early 1800s imports of Indian cotton and silk goods faced duties of 70-80%. British imports faced duties of 2-4%! As a result, British imports of cotton manufactures into India increased by a factor of 50, and Indian exports dropped to one-fourth. A similiar trend was noted in silk goods, woollens, iron, pottery, glassware and paper. As a result, millions of ruined artisans and craftsmen, spinners, weavers, potters, smelters and smiths were rendered jobless and had to become landless agricultural workers. They screwed us over again.
- Reactionary borders.
- And many other reasons why you should logic-slap those who support Empire(s).
The books I would suggest are: M. M. Ahluwalia’s Freedom Struggle in India. Shah, Khambata’s The Wealth and Taxable Capacity of India. G. Emerson’s Voiceless India.Brooks Adams’s The Law of Civilization and Decline. J. R. Seeley’s, Expansion of England. H. H. Wilson, History of British India. D. H Buchanan’s Development of Capitalist Enterprise in India.
Slightly unrelated but you should Gender and Community Under British Colonialism: Emotion, Struggle and Politics in a Chinese Village by Siu Keung Cheung as well. Hope this helps.
An Afghan Mujahideen fighter descends from a truck carrying a group of fighters to take a photograph. Rival factions of Mujahideen and other groups have fueled the political conflict and civil war in Afghanistan since 1989. In mid April 1992 the Mujahideen seized Kabul and ousted the Soviet regime led by President Najibullah. April 20, 1992. © Les Stone
An Afghan Security Forces member takes a quick snapshot while on a combat operation in the foothills of the Hindu Kush in the Kunar Province of eastern Afghanistan. He is carrying an RPG-7 rocket propelled grenade and an AK-47 automatic assault rifle. © Ed Darack
January 1980, Asmar, Kunar Province, Afghanistan —- An Afghan Pashtun mujahid. The mujahideen fought against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan during the 1980s that began on December 25, 1979.
© Pascal Manoukian/Sygma/Corbis
Cut-Away? (An AK rifle with a bakelite magazine that’s had a slot cut out for visual round counting. Very strange to do this, though I suppose it wouldn’t affect the AK as much as it would with other rifles.)
Afghanistan, Steve Mccurry