Robert Nickelsberg has documented Afghanistan since 1988, when he accompanied a group of mujahedeen crossing the border from Pakistan. He has worked as a TIME Magazine contract photographer for nearly thirty years, specializing in political and cultural change in developing countries. His images have appeared in publications and broadcasts that include TIME, The New York Times, Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, The Guardian, Paris Match, Stern, CNN, and NBC. His photographs have been exhibited at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the International Center of Photography, and at the New America Foundation in New York.
As a TIME Magazine contract photographer, Nickelsberg, was based in New Delhi from 1988 to 2000. During that time, he documented conflicts in Kashmir, Iraq, Sri Lanka, India, and Afghanistan. He was one of the few photographers who had first hand exposure to the early days of the rise of fundamentalist groups in the Afghanistan-Pakistan tribal areas and al-Qaeda, and his work provides a unique up close view of the Soviet withdrawal, the rise of the Taliban, and the invasion by the U.S. Nickelsberg moved to New York in 2000 and continues to travel overseasâ€”reporting on the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003â€”and focus on chronicling the devastating psychological effects of war in Kashmir.
In 2008, he was awarded grants from the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma, and from the South Asia Journalists Association to document and report on post-traumatic stress disorder in Kashmir after 20 years of insurgency. Nickelsberg serves on the advisory board of the Kashmir Initiative at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard University.