Once upon a time, Kalash people were living in harmony with nature at the feet of the Hindu Kush, protected by the snow-capped Tirich Mir (the shadow king). Below, in the valley (3000 to 2000 meters) stretched a forest of cedars and pines inhabited by fairies, spirits and irrigated by a gushing river. That’s how these peaceful people evoke what remains of their kingdom of the past. Considered as Kafirs – infidels – the Kalash are polytheists and animists in the land of the fools for God.
Of the 16th Century’s 250,000 souls, reigning over a gigantic territory, only 4,100 remain in 2017 and their living space has been drastically reduced. After being decimated in Afghanistan, survivors of the various waves of persecution and conversions have taken refuge in the border valleys west of Chitral in Pakistan. Despite the protection provided by Pakistan, the Taliban threat from neighboring Afghanistan is always present. Access to these three valleys (Birir, Rumbur and Bumburet) remains extremely difficult.
War photographer and tireless traveler, Sarah Caron works on current events as well as longer-term projects. Her photographs are currently exhibited on various continents. She published Odyssée moderne, le Pakistan à vif… and contributes to the French and international press. She earned prizes awarded by several foundations. She received the 2012 Canon Female Photojournalist Award and the 2017 Days Japan Jury’s Prize.