Undercover in Afghanistan
In 2015 the Dutch architect/ urban planner Jan Willem Petersen went for several months to Afghanistan on a mission of his own initiative.
Since 2001, Afghanistan has been the stage of the largest reconstruction mission in human history. The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) has taken tens of thousands of projects to rebuild the country ravaged by decades of civil war. Now that the international community is preparing its withdrawal from the country and the end of the reconstruction mission is in sight, the opportunity arises to visit Afghanistan and assess the legacy of the efforts made. Also the Netherlands has made a major contribution to Afghanistan with different missions. It has been five years since the Task Force Uruzgan transferred responsibility for security and reconstruction of Uruzgan province to ISAF partners Australia and the United States. Given the substantial contribution from the Netherlands through hundreds of projects, the time has come to demonstrate for the first time the spatial dimension of the reconstruction mission. How do the schools, roads, mosques, hospitals, government buildings, water networks, factories, bridges, prisons, police stations and even an airport nowadays function? How do the western interventions hold up the challenging Afghan realities? This project attempts to provide insight into this largely hidden aspect of the mission, and aims to take lessons for future missions to come.
Listen to the interview HERE
photocredits: Jan Willem Petersen