Election Beyond Symbol

From The Taliban Shuffle (2010) by Kim Barker, in relation to the 2004 Afghan election:

The election was, perhaps, the most confusing every held anywhere. Somehow, a voter in Kabul was supposed to pick one candidate out of 390. The ballot folded out into seven large pages, and each candidate had a photograph and a symbol, because many Afghans were illiterate. But creativity ran out, and symbols had to be reused. Candidates were identified as different objects, including a pair of scissors, one camel, two camels, three camels, two sets of barbells, mushrooms, two ice-cream cones, three corncobs, two tomatoes, stairs, a turkey, two turkeys, one eye, a pair of eyes, a tire, two tires, three tires–to name a few. The symbols were randomly drawn out of a box.

Choosing between two sets of barbells and a mushroom…

And where language transcends, again and again

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