19 years ago, September 2001, I was in Afghanistan with Pepe Escobar. On returning to my home in New York City I got the news on Sept 10th that Commander Ahmed Shah Massoud – ‘The Lion of the Panjshir’ (header image) – who we had recently been a guest of, had been assassinated by Al Qaeda operatives posing at journalists. The following day I was standing next to the Twin Towers, in Lower Manhattan as they collapsed…
My journey to the Taliban-controlled region of Afghanistan in August 2000 was in fact not planned. I was on my way to Kashmir to follow the ‘jihad trail’ when I got a call to join my colleague and writer Pepe Escobar, who was working on jihad stories on the Pakistan-Afghan border – he said: “This is (Afghanistan) where it’s really happening…”.
Crossing the Afghanistan-Pakistan border by foot at the Khyber pass we spent two weeks driving through the heart of Taliban-Afghanistan to try and get a clear understanding of who the Taliban were and how they held such sway over the populace. We felt we had dropped through a tear in the space-time fabric to the surreal land of corrupted ancient ideologies spouted from the mouths kohl-eyed men driving brand-new Toyota 4×4’s, where photography was outlawed – and because of which, we were arrested on two occasions… Jason Florio – read / see more images floriophoto.com
Tuesday 24th March, 2020: The first day of the UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson’s lockdown to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. In Central London the streets were abnormally quiet, it felt as if nearly all of society had been sieved away, and only the homeless were left on the almost deserted streets. London has an estimated 170,000 homeless.
In Nigeria, less than half of all households have their own toilet and one in four of the 2 million population still defecate in the open – United Purpose
Creating a Movement – a short film by Jason Florio and Zane Dedlow. The film showcases how United Purpose has created a movement to end open defecation in Nigeria using an approach called Community-led Total Sanitation (CLTS). This harnesses the shock and shame generated by communities’ realisation of their own sanitation and hygiene situation and turns it into transformative action across entire regions.
Polio Victim, Lawrence Itsu, of Bisu ward constructed his own toilet after his community was triggered. He is a shoemaker, teacher and also offers computer services in his village. He is married with five children.
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