Elissa Bogos is an American who has been living in Kabul for the last six years and, along with Gulistan Mirzaei, a native of Afghanistan, taking photographs and making documentaries.
From their website:
"Elissa Bogos and Gulistan Mirzaei are documentary filmmakers based in Kabul, Afghanistan. Their documentary, Stranded in Kabul, premiered on Al Jazeera in July, 2013.
Gulistan was born in Afghanistan and worked for 10 years at the country's only independent newspaper, Kabul Weekly. Elissa has been living in Kabul since 2007, and was previously a stringer for Agence France-Presse (AFP) television in Kabul, where she shot, edited and narrated news reports. She is also a photographer, and her images have been published internationally."
Don't miss the short "The Last Jew."
Interview with Elissa Burgos and pix of Afghanistan.
VJ Movement (for objective, behind-the-scenes journalism).
Click here for the trailer for "Stranded in Kabul"
"Promo for our film, Stranded in Kabul, which aired on Al Jazeera in July 2013.
Despite the billions of dollars being poured into Afghanistan to rebuild the country and boost its economy, more than 30,000 Afghans applied for political asylum worldwide last year.
Zekria is willing to pay $25,000 to an agent to make a visa application to a European country on his behalf.
If this visa is not granted, he will be stranded in Kabul facing the likely option to escape through people smuggling networks. At only 27 years of age he works for an international agency and is the sole supporter of his family of 16.
Fearing what will happen when the foreign forces withdraw, he secretly plans his own escape from Afghanistan."
I asked Elissa for reading/film suggestions to broaden my knowledge of Afghantistan. She responded:
'I'd recommend Rory Stewart's "The Places in Between" about his travels walking across the country after the fall of the Taliban; "The Sewing Circles of Herat" by Christina Lamb, about her time as a young journalist during the Soviet invasion in Afghanistan; "An Unexpected Light" by Jason Eliot. Have you read "The Kite Runner" by Khaled Hosseini or seen the film? I thought the film was really well done, and for being filmed in China (I think?) it looked a lot like Kabul! Also, "The Boy Mir" by Phil Grabsky is a documentary following a young Afghan boy and his family over 10 years; "Hell and Back Again" by Danfung Dennis about a US marine sergeant who returns from Afghanistan with PTSD, to name a few. [Both documentaries are available on netflix]."