Publisher Note

The story to the images in the book is complex and to condense it reads as follows:

An 11 year old boy, Khalid Hadi, was made a photographer at a relieve foundation for victims of the Afghan-Soviet war in Kandahar, South Afghanistan. Orphans, wounded fighters, civilians. For three years he photographed 10.000 casualties of the conflict with a wooden box camera for the administration of the foundation.

When the Taliban took over most of Afghanistan, he was determent to continue working as photographer and took a job for the oppressive rulers; Taking pictures of infrastructure and other Taliban projects. But after a few years he could not bare it any longer and fled to the USA where by chance he encountered the renown photographer Edward Grazda. This was in 2001, just before 9/11.

Khalid presented Edward with a photograph of the Taliban leader Mullah Omar, which he took 8 years prior at the foundation. Mullah Omar’s eye was wounded while fighting as a Mujahedin. At this time Mullah Omar, although a most wanted figure, was a mystery and no known photograph of him was available. With the help of Edward the image was made public via Magnum.

Disasters of War, edited by Edward Grazda, illustrates a fraction of Khalid’s photographs in his years as box camera photographer. The silent beauty of the weathered images hold a shocking violence of an outrageous occupation with hundreds of thousands victims. A piece of history almost forgotten outside of Afghanistan, yet it was the very beginning of the formation of terrorist groups, backed by western powers in the last years of the cold war. International terrorist groups that still echo throughout the world.


Disasters of War

by Khalid Hadi

Release Place Vienna, Austria
Edition 1st edition
Release Date 2021
Writer: Lukas Birk
Artist: Khalid Hadi
Printrun 400
Subform Photobook
Topics Middle East, War
Methods Photography
Language English, Arabic
Dimensions 15.0 × 20.0 × 2.0 cm
Pages 104
Technique Offset