Behind the Scenes

ImagineAsia

The mission of ImagineAsia, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, is to work in partnership with local community leaders and regional NGO's to help provide educational resources and opportunities to children in Afghanistan.

I started this nonprofit endeavor with family and friends. It’s a simple attempt to get textbooks, pencils, and notebooks to the Bamiyan region of Afghanistan, where the Hazara people live. This region is particularly neglected. The idea is that we can do something simple, something direct, that gets supplies and money directly to the people. You know, it’s a fortunate thing that as an artist or a photographer, you can always donate your work for a charitable cause.

I think it’s one of the important functions of photography to draw attention to problems and then to see if we can educate people so that it might motivate them to want to make the world a better place.

"From the start, Steve was eager that ImagineAsia should not be just another nonprofit working in Afghanistan. We wanted our organization to reflect our bond with the country as a photographer and a chronicler of daily life. For that reason, he asked me to set up the Young Women’s Photography Initiative in Bamiyan, Kabul, Mazar-I-Sharif, and Herat.

We provide teachers and cameras for young women to document their own communities while they take classes in photography, English, and computer skills. We encourage the students to look at their homes, villages, and neighbors with a fresh eye, reflecting the saying that photography teaches people to see the world rather than simply to look at it. When their work is assembled for periodic exhibitions, it includes a remarkable variety of styles and subjects, from street photography to formal portraits and landscapes. I never fail to feel astonished and grati ed that these photographs all share the qualities I’ve been familiar with for decades from Steve’s own images: resilience and hope." 

- Bonnie McCurry

http://www.imagine-asia.net/