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Final EditThe image we rescued from the cutting room floor.

Dennis Dimick Illustrations editor Dennis Dimick describes the layout options when a photo depicts strong symbols.

Cut It?
“We had already published several pictures of Ahmad Shah Massoud, the slain leader of the Northern Alliance, in prior months,” says illustrations editor Dennis Dimick. “In this article we wanted to tell a more personal story about the lives of average Afghans who remain once you strip away the war.”

Or Keep It?
“The shattered windshield and Massoud’s visage are somewhat symbolic,” Dimick continues. “They represent a sequential moment in a series of significant events that ultimately ended with the advance of the Northern Alliance and the fall of the Taliban. No one knew it at the time, but his death on September 9 was part of the larger scheme that peaked on September 11. And his memory was what galvanized the Northern Alliance and kept them going. Even though Massoud’s picture isn’t central to the design of this particular story on Afghanistan, his death and the events that followed are central to why we are covering the country now. All of those elements made it ideal for Final Edit.”

Final Edit

Photograph by Lois Raimondo,
The Washington Post
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A Fragile Future

A boy going to market in Khvajeh Ghar passes in front of the photographer’s rented jeep, with its shattered windshield and poster honoring slain anti-Taliban leader Ahmad Shah Massoud. “This image is more of a thought than a photo,” says Lois Raimondo. “For me, the child walking into that spiderweb represented the complexity of the Afghan future.” While in the country, Raimondo says she encountered humanity at its extremes. “There were desperate people who gave in to violence and brutality, but there were also those who withstood the odds and went about their daily lives with grace and dignity while the war was going on just over the hill.” Though the Taliban is on the run, Afghanistan and its coalitions, says Raimondo, are “very, very fragile.”

Lois Raimondo Zoom In on more images by Lois Raimondo and read her notes from the field.

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