Curator Selection / 2020 / /

People of the Poppy Fields

  • Photographer
    Phillip Walter Wellman
  • Image Location
    Afghanistan

Afghanistan produces roughly 90% of the world’s opium. The drug is made from the resin of opium poppies, which is further processed to make heroin. In Afghanistan’s impoverished Kandahar province, many farmers use a portion of their land to grow poppies, saying it’s the only crop that generates enough money to support their families. This series depicts life on several Kandahar poppy farms in the runup to 2019’s harvest. The beauty of the fields and the farmers’ joy at the healthy plants—a result of ideal weather—contrast with the devastation the poppies cause around the world.

Phillip Walter Wellman is an American journalist and photographer. He is currently based in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Awards 2019 Fine Art Photography Awards, 1st Place, Photojournalism
2019 Neutral Density Photography Awards, 2nd Place, People – Other
2019 International Photography Awards, 3rd Place, Editorial/Press – Contemporary Issues
2019 Tokyo International Foto Awards, Silver Winner, Editorial – Conflict
2020 Moscow International Foto Awards, Silver Winner, Editorial – General News
2020 Moscow International Foto Awards, Bronze Winner, People – Life Style