Text by Tara A. Lewis
Photographs by James Reeve
When the Taliban ran Afghanistan, they destroyed idols, refused to educate women, and even forbade kite-flying. After the Americans unseated them in 2001, Afghans slowly began recovering the basic freedoms that strict Sharia had denied them, though that liberty is still far from total. In Afghanistan from 2006 to 2008, there were 461 attacks on schools for girls, and in 2008, 15 girls were attacked with battery acid on their way to school. Meanwhile in Pakistan, the Taliban's sister organization, the Pakistani Taliban, control an area with almost 4 million people, where women, aid workers, and beardless men are tortured and murdered. The threat of a return to draconian rule lingers on. These photographs, from James Reeve's project Banned, document the freedoms available to Afghans after the Taliban's fall.