Paul Seawright is Professor of Photography at the University of Ulster in Belfast. Hidden is commissioned and published by the Imperial War Museum.



Commissioned by London's Imperial War Museum, artist-photographer Paul Seawright spent June 2002 in Afghanistan. His response to the painful and extraordinary situation in the country, one of the first in the aftermath of the fighting, is far from sensationalist photojournalism.

Collected in a book and exhibition under the title Hidden, his thoughtful, poetic images show abandoned interiors and vast desolate desert landscapes covered in the detritus of war-making: ordnance, landmines and unexploded bombs. Afghanistan is in fact the most heavily mined country in the world.

The process of landmine clearance creates strange new landscapes, as in "Mounds" above, with sand piled into countless regular hillocks echoing the mountainous backdrop and suggesting an other-worldly location.



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