Gathering the yaks at Baba Gundi Ziarat
Here's what I wrote when I first tried to interest the world in these pictures twenty years ago. All were taken with a Bronica ETRSi and Fuji Velvia;
To a desolate, windswept shrine at the head of the Chapursan Valley on the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan come these men. From Bam-i-Dunya, as they call their homeland - “The Roof of The World” in the Pamir mountains of Central Asia - a land that knows no frontiers. These are the last free Afghans, whose precarious lives in the tract of land known as Wakhan - once the scene of the most intense manoeuvring in Kipling’s “Great Game” - are now threatened by a new and ominous force - the Taliban. These are the men of Ahmed Shah Masood - Tajik, Uzbek, Kirghiz and Wakhi - forced to make the hazardous journey across high mountain passes to do business in neighbouring Pakistan. The journey may take two weeks each way. With them they bring livestock (horses, yaks and hardy Pamir sheep), dairy products and felts. At Baba Ghundi they exchange these for flour, rice, millet, opium and cheap Chinese and Pakistani manufactured goods. This trade is their lifeline, as the rest of their troubled country is cut off from them by the advancing Taliban. At the very mention of the word, these cheerful Ismaili Moslems violently spit on the floor. I have visited Baba Ghundi five times now. I have wonderful pictures. How can you not be interested in the plight of these people? Contact me at 00 44 (0) 16974 - 78075 or email;
My name is Steve Razzetti.
Not a single editor was interested!!