NOTE FROM TED: This talk contains graphic images and a discussion of warfare and violence, which some viewers may find distressing. TEDx events are independently organised by volunteers.
An award winning journalist, Andrew Quilty was one of only a handful of journalists present in Kabul during the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan in August 2021. Having lived in the city for 8 years by then, he struggled to maintain the line between journalist and resident amid the chaos of evacuations, rapidly advancing fighters and the collapse of a government and a city he called home. Andrew Quilty was born in Sydney in 1981. 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. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organised by a local community.