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Editing Afghanistan

After only a few moments wearing a burqa in Kabul, I couldn't stand it and had to take it off. Horrible, suffocating, dehumanizing feeling!

After two months of shooting hi-def video in India and Afghanistan this spring, I spent the summer re-living every digitized moment of the 5-week India leg. Most of these first twenty finished pieces were shot in India for the Dharma Boutique website -

With the change of season came a shift in focus to the Afghanistan portion of the project. I came home with the same amount of footage from each country - forty-five hours! - but I spent half as much time in Afghanistan; just three weeks. I just couldn't stop shooting. Diving in to footage of the rich, ancient landscape of this devastated country and the beautiful, amazing people who live there has been something like jumping into the relatively small (by our neighbors' standards) but still wildly overabundant autumn harvest in our new england garden - more than I can possibly eat.

What's that quote about the sculptor just carving until the sculpture reveals itself? Michelangelo maybe? He did say, "Carving is easy, you just go down to the skin and stop." (Easy for him to say! He's Michelangelo!!)

The trip itself was intense - so far from anything I'd experienced before (nothing in the American media had shown me anything about what life is like in Afghanistan) - and the images so striking, that I find cutting things OUT of this material more challenging than any other project I've worked on before. What to leave out? There's just so much to say, show and share! I could probably spend the next few years dissecting these 45 hours of video into bite-size chunks, trying to tell the stories of the people we met.

In the coming weeks I'll be publishing some pieces and submitting others to film festivals, but in the meantime, I'll keep you posted here, and you can see a lot of my stuff on youtube -

Back to it!


JMKELLAM's picture

Through your eyes

It sounds like you had an amazing time. I hope we get to read more about your trip!

Thanks for sharing the video clips with us. I'm excited to see India and Afghanistan through your eyes. I've gotten too used to looking through the eyes of the media.

In friendship,

Jenna Kellam

sarakarl's picture


You're welcome, and thanks for the encouragement! A little goes a long way. I'm grateful to live in a time when we can transmit these images and information to each other so quickly, easily and beautifully. Very exciting!

Sara Karl

Lisa's picture

Thank you Sara

Isn't it amazing to meet people from other parts of the world and make a human connection? Meeting face to face and being able to see first hand glimpses into each others lives is so far removed from what we are shown on our tv sets. Please keep us updated on the projects and stories that arise from your travels!

All the best,


sarakarl's picture

thank YOU!

You're so right - it is such a gift to meet, see, feel things in person. As much of a gift as electronic communications is in terms of speed, nothing tops the tangible reality of three-dimensional, pan-sensual, 360 degree experiences.

My challenge now is to do my best to translate as much of my 3D experience as I can, so I'd best get back to it!

More soon!

Sara Karl

Adam baba's picture

many thanks indeed

Sara ji,
It is an ongoing and wonderful blessing to me that you accepted my invitation to travel and capture in HD video our trek through Delhi to Rajasthan and Kabul and beyond. A serious road trip, an unforgettable journey. So exciting to begin sharing those stories and encounters and moments from another realm. I'm very grateful for your continued investment of passion and energy into this piece of work--you are the best.


Adam Bauer
Founder, Dharma Boutique

Elsie's picture

I just can't wait...

Wow Sara! After checking out a few of your videos on youtube, I can't wait to see your Afghanistan footage. Thank you for sharing and deepest thanks for doing what you do!

childrightsactivist's picture

IN TOUCH WITH sarakarl


Meena Afghan's picture


Hi Sara, Glad to know that you had a wonderful time and experience in Afghanistan. Afghanistan is realy the heave in this world and true beauty of nature exist over there.

Peace Seeker,

sarakarl's picture

It is heaven and hell both

It is heaven and hell both right now, isn't it? SO much suffering and so much beauty. I loved the people, beautiful on the inside and out, and the land as well. Amazing! I dream all the time of going back. Are you there now? I"m in New York City.
Thanks for the note!

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