As the war escalates in Afghanistan and foreign dollars continue to flow into the country, aid meant for the masses has, for the most part, only thickened the wallets of corrupt Afghan officials, warlords and drug lords.

Though elections were held, many Afghans were afraid to travel to voting booths or had lost trust in a Karzai government that has done little over the past five years to improve the lives of the majority of the population. Security and the rights of civilians, especially women, has improved in some areas. But even in the capital city of Kabul, frequent car bombings, kidnappings, shootings and other terrorist attacks continually remind everyone Afghanistan is, and might always be, a glass house. Still, in the continuous cycle of war and upheaval in Afghanistan, hope remains. The Afghans learned long ago that no matter what happens, life goes on.

— Michael Christopher Brown

Editor’s note: I discovered Michael Christopher Brown’s work when I was judging the 2010 Anthropographia Awards for Human Rights and Photography. It is a pleasure to now present his work to Lens Culture readers.