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Beb Reynol

County: King County




Grants for Artist Projects 2005
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Beb C. Reynol is a documentary photographer working for social change. His objectives are to work in favor of population confronted to exclusion and censorship. He concentrated his work in South and Central Asia, crossing borders that separate Pakistan from Afghanistan.

In 1999, Beb spent months dividing his time between Peshawar and the Swat valleys, where he discovered the ethnic tribe of the Pashtuns. Fascinated by this culture’s hospitality and pride, he returned several times to the valley to live with a pro-Taliban family, documenting lives across remote and isolated mountainous villages. Beb also had the incredible opportunity to interview Mullahs inside madressas, repeatedly crossing the border into Afghanistan through the Hindu Kush, on foot.

While in Afghanistan from 2003 through 2005, Beb worked along Afghan photojournalists for AINA Media, a French NGO working on contributing to the reconstruction of freedom of expression through education and independent media development. He trained, coordinated and assisted the local photographers in training with a UNICEF anti-child-labor marketing photo project. He divided his time between supervising the students’ post-production work and producing a documentary of his own called Forced Destiny. This photo documentary garnered him international media attention, including being featured in a Canadian national broadcasting television program for Radio-Canada and led to being awarded several high-profile grants.

Regardless of the resurgence of the Taliban influence among the Pashtuns, Beb made friends and invaluable contacts across borders, where he was granted unprecedented access to volatile locations, all the while discovering a unique generosity from indigenous tribes throughout the Hindu Kush.

Beb received a 2005 GAP to cover the costs of a translator and recording device on his next expedition to Afghanistan. As a photographer, Reynol strives to document populations confronted by war. His ongoing photo essay in Afghanistan will create a cultural bridge to a dislocated world through the medium of photography and direct audio recordings of the people who are his subjects. This documentation can later be used as an educational tool in lectures and slide shows, much like his most recent lecture tour From Kasur to Kandahar: When Islam Meets the Modern World, presented at the Vashon Common House and The Freehold Theater in Seattle.

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