New book: With our own hands – Food and life in the Pamir mountains

WWith-our-own-handsith our own hands – A celebration of food and life in the Pamir mountains of Afghanistan and Tajikistan

By Frederik van Oudenhoven and Jamila Haider

In the autumn of 2009, a grandmother in the village of Mun, in the Ghund valley of the Tajik Pamir Mountains, approached two young researchers and asked them to write down her old recipes. “I want to share them with my children and grandchildren while I still remember what I know,” she said.

Surrounded by her family and neighbours, the conversations about the recipes became a passage into the timeworn traditions of the Pamir Mountains and the rapid changes they now face. Over the following years, her voice was joined by those of many other grandmothers and grandfathers, children, teachers and farmers. Together they are this book: a unique and intimate portrait of the Pamir Mountains of Afghanistan and Tajikistan.

With Our Own Hands tells, for the first time, the cultural and agricultural history of the Afghan and Tajik Pamirs, one of the world’s least known and most isolated civilisations. Through the lens of local recipes, a hundred in total, and accompanied by the work of three award-winning photographers, it describes Pamiri food and its origins, people’s daily lives, their struggles and celebrations. In a context where poverty, conflicts and political upheaval have made it difficult for people to express and define their identity, food becomes a powerful tool for its revival.

Thanks to the support from donors, 1800 copies will be given to every community, school and library in the Pamirs.

If you want to pre-order the book with a €20 discount (for €34,50, available until 28 June 2015), click here.

To read more about the book, click here.