Bronze 2020 / People / Life Style

People of The Poppy Fields

  • Prizes
    Bronze in People/Life Style
  • Company
    Stars and Stripes
  • Photographer
    Phillip Walter Wellman

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 makes them 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 caused by the poppies around the world.

Phillip Walter Wellman is an American journalist and photographer currently living and working in Afghanistan.