Afghanistan is a country where sadness-and-sometimes-happiness is a way of life. Paula Bronstein has made some of the most extraordinary photos of her career in this country. “Face after face, I see complex and intriguing gazes, the constant tension between optimism and reality that so many people live with. I keep going back, motivated and inspired by those faces, pushing against the difficulties.” She hopes to find fewer doors slammed shut, and more people with something to smile about. There are many warm-hearted as well harrowing stories, which still need to be told, she feels.

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