Curse of Geography is an on-going series of investigative reports focused on the relationship of geographic isolation or proximity on social justice, human rights and public policy in selected locations around the world. Our reports are produced in multi-media format and in partnership with artists, journalists, NGOs, academic and cultural institutions, and news outlets.
In this third installment in this series, Emma Kazaryan reports from Badakhshan, located on the borderlands of Tajikistan and Afghanistan, one of the most inaccessible parts of the world. An anachronistic place, converged upon by uneven development and outward migration. Kazaryan recounts the journey traveling along the M41, sometimes referred to as the “Heroin Highway.” For the past three decades, the M41 has served as the primary trafficking route for opiates and heroin smuggled from Afghanistan through Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan and into Russia and Europe.