Andrew Quilty was born in Sydney in 1981. His photographic career began at Fairfax Media in 2005. After leaving Fairfax in 2010 and working as a freelancer for several years, in 2013, he travelled to Kabul, Afghanistan, just as the international community was winding down involvement in the country. Quilty based himself in Kabul and photographed for many of the world’s preeminent media outlets. From his photographic work in Afghanistan, he has collected accolades including a World Press Photo award, a Polk award and several Walkley awards, including, in 2016, the Gold Walkley, the highest honour in Australian journalism.
In recent years, Quilty has combined photojournalism in Afghanistan with the written word. He has written for Rolling Stone, Harper’s Magazine, The New York Times and more. Last year, his 18-month investigation into a CIA-led Afghan militia, for the U.S. investigative outlet The Intercept, was the recipient of a 2021 Overseas Press Club of America Award. Also, last year, Quilty was named the Walkley Freelance Journalist of the Year and his investigation into Australian war crimes in Afghanistan for The Monthly was awarded the Walkley award for best long-form journalism.
Quilty was one of only a handful of journalists present in Kabul during the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan in August 2021. His account of that time, “August in Kabul: America’s Last Days in Afghanistan” will be published by Melbourne University Publishing on August 2, 2022.